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THE MILLER'S DAUGHTER. 



VOL. I. 



■•^i^l^lM«*««H^M^Mifa 



THE MILLER'S DAUGHTER. 



VOL. I. 



Hfmmi/mmmimti^mm^tm ■ irrra^ri^ ■ r"-^ ,.,Tmiw' ' 



.. . I 



THE MILLER'S DAUGHTER. 



BY 



ANNE BEALE, 

AUTHOB OP 

" FAY ARLINGTON," " THE PENNANT FAMILY," 
" SIMPLICITY AND FASCINATION," 



" O my love's like a red, red rose, 

That's newly sprung in June: 
O my love's like the melodie 

That's sweetly play'd in tune. 
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, 

So deep in love am I: 
And I will loye thee stUl, my dear, 

Till a' the seas gang dry." 

BUBH& 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 
VOL. L 




LONDON: 
HURST AND BLAOKETT, PUBLISHERS, 

13, GREAT MABLBOBOUGH STREET. 

1878. 

AU rights reserved. 



(251. ^. M5-. 



mm 



LONDON : 

PRINTED BY DUNCAN MAODQNALD, BLENHEIM HOUSE. 

BLENHEIM STREET, 02CF0RD STREET. 



THE MILLER^S DAUGHTER. 



CHAPTER I. 



MARK AND THE " SEA SERPENT." 



ONE sultry, misty evening in June, a 
small vessel lay at anchor not far 
from the coast of one of the southern English 
counties. She wag. anxiously watched by a 
young man who was hurrying across the 
cliffs in her direction, telescope in hand. 
This was Mark Gay, son of the miller of 
Beachton. Having worked, against the 
grain, at the mill all day, he was in search 
of the occupation he loved. He was glad 

VOL. I. B ' 



THE miller's daughter. 



to see the clouds and the mists gather as the 
tide came in, because his object was conceal- 
ment, therefore he was quite happy when 
the last gleam of a lurid sun disappeared be- 
hind a thick mantle of sea-fog. 

When he had traversed about a couple of 
miles of cliff and down, he descended by a 
rough path to' the beach. As the tide was 
nearly up to the rocks that impeded its flow, 
he scrambled to a boulder, and leapt from 
stone to stone until he came to a well-con- 
cealed path in the rocks, that he evidently 
knew. It could scarcely be called a path, 
since it consisted of rough steps, hewn, seem- 
ingly by Nature, amongst the crags, and 
hidden from view by the garments of gorse, 
lichens, and parasitical plants thrown over 
and clinging about them. Mark was obliged 
to remove and replace these as he made his 
way through them with some difficulty. But 
he was strong, lithe, and used to danger, 



THE miller's BAIJGHTEB. 



SO all obstacles seemed light to him, and only 
added zest to the attainment of his objects. 
He was of an adventurous spirit, and always 
ready to embark on any ocean that could 
lead him to new undertakings, whether it 
was rough or smooth. As he struggled on, 
the ocean before him began to wax angry, 
and the clouds above him to pour down 
their floods through heavens open win- 
dows. 

A dozen or so of these steps, however, 
brought him to a cave in the rocks, into 
which he crept through an opening con- 
cealed with brushwood. 

"Hurrah, here you be, then, Measter 
Mark !" greeted him as he poked in his head. 

The speaker was Levi Tuck, one of his 
father's men. 

" Yes, here I am," cried Mark, standing 
up and shaking himself " Is she likely to 
come in to-night ?" 

B 2 



THE miller's daughter. 



" Zure and zartain, Measter Mark," re- 
plied Levi. 

The cavern was tolerably high, and so 
framed by nature's cunning hand as to give 
refuge to hapless fugitives. In past genera- 
tions it had served for this end, when bar- 
barous feuds and wars caused men's lives to 
be in jeopardy; but in Mark's day it was 
needed for no such friendly purpose. In- 
deed it was nearly forgotten, and if re- 
membered at all, was merely mentioned as 
being somewhere or other amongst the rocks. 
There was an opening in front, wide enough 
to admit a view of the sea, and an in- 
definitely long passage at the back, dark 
and narrow enough for concealment. Mark 
glanced out of the casementless window at 
the vessel which had previously attracted 
his attention. She was riding at anchor 
within a safe distance from the cove which 
the cavern surmounted, while a fishing-boat 



THE miller's daughter. 



was moored beneath, containing two men, 
one of whom was Job Tuck, Levi's brother, a 
fisherman by trade. They were apparently 
waiting the hour and opportunity either for 
pushing off for a haul, or for returning to 
Beaohton if the storm proved too over- 
whelming. The rocks jutted far out into 
the sea on either side of the little bay or 
creek that lay beneath the cave, and had 
been known to shelter small craft in times 
of danger. It would appear that the vessel 
in front was lying to with a view to putting 
in, in case of peril, and as Mark stood watching 
her keenly and anxiously, he might have 
been considering her chances of safety as 
the wind and sea rose high. 

By degrees, however, "darkness crept 
over the face of the deep," and he could 
discern her no longer. 

"Now be the time; the tide be at vulV 
whispered Levi. 



6 THE miller's daughter. 

Almost as he spoke Mark descried the 
vessel dimly, surmounting a huge wave, 
and riding gallantly into the little harbour. 
A shout from below was taken up above^ 
and Levi Tuck kindled a light in the dark 
cavern, Mark grew excited, walked to and 
fro, and talked loudly. 

'* Bide you here a while, Measter Mark," 
said Levi. But Mark was not the man to 
"bide" anywhere while there was daring 
work to do ; so he followed Levi out of the 
cave to the dangerous path of steps. There 
was light enough to enable them to grope 
their way down, now clinging to a bramble, 
anon to a bracken. More than once Mark 
was in peril of slipping, from his insecure 
footing, and being thrown down the cliff 
into the sea ; but he reached the last step 
finally, and leapt from it into the boat. 
The vessel had waited for time and tide, 
and had come in at the right moment, under 



^^^ 



THE miller's DAUOHTER. 



cover of the darkness. The threatening 
storm lulled, and the sullen waves fell, while 
a sudden gleam of dying sunlight pierced 
the clouds, and revealed a strange, wild 
scene. 

The boat was alongside the vessel, and 
her two sailors were receiving and stowing 
away packages hurled at them by the nu- 
merous crew of the larger craft. Lanterns 
and torches gleamed and flitted about the 
deck, in the fitful light of which the faces 
of the men looked almost demoniacal. 
Those belonging to the vessel were princi- 
pally foreigners, and their scarlet head-gear 
and many-coloured vests showed out curi- 
ously from time to time in the uncertain 
summer twilight. The sea was compara- 
tively calm in the small cove, and enabled 
the men to do their nefarious work. This 
they did amid a storm of oaths which were 
uttered in a jargon of the English, Dutch, 



8 THE miller's daughter. 

and French languages. These oaths re- 
doubled as some of the packages were 
hauled, with diflSiculty and by torchlight, up 
the steps to the cave, and but for Mark's 
resolution his friends, the Tucks, would have 
given in. Having been a voyage or two in 
the vessel, the Sea Serpent by name, he 
knew both her and her captain, and took a 
wild delight in showing how little he cared 
for danger. One moment he was in the 
boat, the next on the deck of the vessel ; 
now helping the cargo up the steps, anon 
hiding it in the depths of the cave. He was 
aware that at that time his father and his 
sister Jerusha were expecting him and Levi 
to join in family prayer ; and he knew that 
they must frame excuses to account for 
their absence ; but he had embarked with 
the captain of the Sea Serpent in smuggling 
practices, and he did not mean to relinquish 
them. On the contrary, his conscience 



THE miller's daughter. 



being elastic, he chose to think it lawful to 
circumvent the Government, and forestall 
free trade. His first step into the reckless 
ways of dissimulation was taken when, con- 
trary to his father's desire, he left the work 
God gave him to do, and went to sea. He 
there imbibed the principles of the trade in 
which he had since, unfortunately, em- 
barked. 

Experience proved that the excessive 
nature of the tariffs on goods, both in Eng- 
land and France, even far into the present 
century, caused daring people to risk every- 
thing in order to smuggle prohibited articles 
into those countries. The cost of prevent- 
ing it in England was enormous. The 
Preventive Service and the Coast Blockade 
were organised for this purpose, but so long 
as a profit was to be made commensurate 
with the risk, the smugglers continued to 
brave these forces. The Admiralty and 



10 THE miller's daughter. 

Board of Trade failed to exterminate them, 
as did fines, imprisonment, or service in the 
* Royal Navy, to deter them from their illicit 
traffic. The reduction of the duties on 
silks, tea, and other articles, has done more 
to repress it than all the revenue officers 
put together ; but these had not been cur- 
tailed at the period when the Sea Serpent 
dashed into Hollow Cove ; and the country 
folks still took pleasure in aiding the 
smuggler to bring in and dispose of his 
goods. 

Thus it was that the Tucks, and similar 
simple people, had their wits occasionally 
sharpened, and the safety of their persons 
endangered, by helping to land and stow 
away tempting spirits, as well as silks and 
laces, and now and again to lose their wits 
by drinking the one, or their lives in de- 
fending the other. And thus it was that 
Mark began a career, the end of which he 



THE miller's DAUOHTEB. 1 1 

could not foresee or imagine, and that he 
remained to help his very doubtful friends 
and acquaintances, until the vessel was un- 
loaded, and the cargo to all appearance 
safe. 

A portion of the latter lay in the boat^ 
concealed beneath nets, fishing-tackle, oars, 
and the like, and was confided to the care 
of Job Tuck and two other Beachton fisher- 
men, while the rest was hidden in the cave, 
under the supervision of Mark, Levi, and a 
man named Chivers, whose home was not 
far from the cove. 

The captain of the Sea Serpent was an 
Englishman named Dangerfield. He exer- 
cised considerable power over Mark, who, 
though daring enough, had his weak points. 
They spoke to one another from time to 
time when they encountered, and the cap- 
tain paused in his oaths and his orders ta 
make inquiries of moment to both. 



12 THE miller's daughter. 

" Are we suspected ? Is the Sea Serpent 
safe ?" he asked. 

" I hear nothing to the contrary. She is 
reckoned honest/' replied Mark. 

" Honest I — I should think so," thundered 
the captain. *'She only carries cheap goods 
to those who can't afford dear ones. When 
are you coming another voyage ?" 

"As soon as father will let me. He 
keeps me tight at milling, and I'm obliged 
to be as meek as a lamb." 

" Haw, haw ; we're jolly lambs, all of us 
Southdowners ! When shall we come to a 
settlement? Will you meet me at Sandport 
this night fortnight ?" 

"Yes. And will you pay us a visit? 
Father has often asked you." 

" Another lamb to your fold. Yes, I'll 
spend a Sunday with you. Go to church 
and look proper in your sister's eyes." 

The captain laughed, but Mark did not 



THE miller's daughter. IS 

join. He had forgotten Jerusha, and did 
not care that she should become acquainted 
with his friend. The two men were a great 
contrast, as they stood, side by side, on deck 
— Dangerfield broad, heavy, and dark ; 
Gay slight and fair; the one a somewhat 
evil-looking man of near forty, the other 
with a face naturally frank, of five-and- 
twenty; the one resolute and strong, the 
other daring and undecided ; the one born 
to command the undisciplined mind, the 
other to obey, where obedience sided with 
inclination. Mark was, unfortunately, an 
only son, and had been much indulged, so 
that he generally allowed himself to be 
guided rather by his will than his conscience. 
Dangerfield was a mere speculator and 
smuggler, and had no conscience at all — at 
least, not perceptibly, for he stuck at nothing 
to gain his ends. 

" This night fortnight, then, at the * Jolly 



14 THE miller's daughter. 

Tars,' at Sandport," were the Captain's part- 
ing words, as he shook Mark's hand, when 
that young man was prepared to leave the 
vessel. 

"All right!" cried Mark, and leaped into 
the boat, which was nearly overturned by 
his impetuosity. 

The work was completed before the tide 
had ebbed too far to prevent both ship and 
boat from putting off to sea again. They 
did so, in spite of the increasing storm, and 
the Sea Serpent rode off as gaily as if she 
were immaculate, while the boat took to 
coasting around the shore in the direction of 
Sandport, the largest seaport town of the 
district. 

Mark and his men remained awhile in the 
cave to conceal the packages effectually, as 
well as to sample a particular bottle of 
Prench brandy, recommended to them by 
the Captain. Headstrong yet weak, Mark 



THE miller's daughter. 15 

resisted a certain warning voice within, and 
drank a little more than his young head 
could bear; so that when he, Levi, and 
Chivers began their perilous descent from 
the cave, he felt ^ddy, and kept his equi- 
librium with difficulty. The men helped 
him, however, and they succeeded in reach- 
ing the beach, having carefully replaced the 
now black garb of the rocky path. Their 
lanterns glimmered fitfully as they scrambled 
along, for the night was too cloudy to allow 
them to proceed without them. Mark soon 
regained his natural powers, and the trio 
proceeded between the rocks and the ebbing 
tide until they reached a rough road, which 
led between the rocks and downs to a few 
fishermen's huts, one of which Chivers in- 
habited. 

"See to the goods," said Mark. "We 
shall get them off by degrees, now the tide 
is at full. Plenty of men ready to take 
them, and lots of purchasers." 



16 THE miller's daughter. 

" Ay, Measter Mark," returned Chivers ; 
" but 'tis risky work, all the same." 

*'No risks, no winnings. Good night, 
Chivers," said Mark. And he and Levi took 
the cliff road, while Chivers went to his 
horae. 



17 



CHAPTER 11. 



JERUSHA AND THE PEDLAR. 



HEACHTON MILL was a picturesque 
-*-^ dwelling, at the foot of a range of 
hills, and not far from the sea. The stream 
that turned the great mill-wheel flowed 
down from the hills, and having done its 
work in helping to grind the corn grown in 
its vicinity, wandered peaceably on until it 
fell into the sea at the fishing village of 
Beachton. Just above the mill this stream 
divided into two branches, so that it not 
only supplied the wheel at the back, but fed 
the flocks, and watered the pastures in the 

VOL. L C 



18 THE MILLEB'S daughter. 

front. The back of the hftuse was protected ' 
by a green slope from the sea, whilst its 
frontage faced the hills, downs, and fields 
amongst which it nestled. 

Here, beneath the stone porch, stood, on 
the evening after Mark's visit to the cave, 
his sister Jerusha. She was shading her 
eyes with her hand from the sun, and ap- 
parently surveying the fair scene before her. 
She was young, and sufficiently good-look- 
ing to be called by the neighbours, "our 
Beachton beauty." Not that she was re- 
markably beautiful; but the farm people, 
the miller's men, and the fishermen had 
known her from her childhood, and believed 
there was not such another girl between 
them and London. She was a brunette, 
of middle height, easy figure, and laughter- 
loving countenance. Her sparkling dark 
eyes and dimpled mouth seemed more akin 
to mirth than gravity, though she could be 



THE BOLLEB's DAUGHTEB. 19 

grave upon occasion. Indeed, her face was 
serious as she stood beneath the porch, and . 
said, half aloud, '^I wish he would come 
home. He was so late again last night." 

The roses that covered the porch almost 
touched her smooth hair ; whilst a pleasant 
perfume floated about her from the pinks, 
wall-flowers, and lavender of her trim old- 
fashioned garden. .She looked, indeed, like 
a picture set in an ornamental frame ; for 
not only was the porch covered with trail- 
ing flowers, but the house was adorned by .a 
vine, and the low wall that enclosed it by 
ivy. 

She had scarcely uttered the words quoted 
when a pony dashed up to the wicket, and 
thrust his head over it. She advanced to 
meet him, and he instantly thrust head and 
neck over the low wall that enclosed her 
garden. 

" What business have you here, Dandy ? 

c2 



20 THE miller's daughter. 

What will Miss Martha say?" she asked, 
stroking his face. " Carrots, is it ? You 
naughty vagabond ! You born beggar ! 
What next, I wonder ?" 

The pony nodded impatiently, and tossed 
his mane. She went into the house, and re- 
turned with a plate of carrots and apples in 
slices, which' Dandy munched daintily, bit 
by bit, as she presented them. 

While they were thus engaged, a man, with 
a pack on his back, stood on the rustic 
bridge that crossed the stream at the bottom 
of the hilly slope, and looked at them. He 
then ascended the hill slowly, glancing from 
side to side as he walked, until he drew 
near the mill.. The pony, conscious of a 
stranger's approach, pricked his ears, made 
a naughty fling, and trotted to a distance. 

" I have got some beautiful silks, miss, if 
you'll condescend to look at 'em. Dirt cheap. 
Bought 'em a bargain of a tradesman who un- 



THE miller's daughter. 21 

fortunately failed," said the pedlar, laying 
down his pack, and beginning to open it. 

** Pray come inside," said Jerusha, dazzled 
by the splendid colours unfolded to her 
view. 

She led the way through a passage into a 
room on the right, which served the pur- 
poses of best kitchen and hall. It looked 
out at the back, and hence could be seen all 
the carts and people that came on business 
to the mill. The great wheel itself was 
visible from the latticed window, and when 
it was at rest the sound of the sea came in, 
so that, as Jerusha said, "There was never 
a moment's quiet in that room." It contained, 
as principal furniture, a large deal table, 
grown blossom-white by constant scrubbing, 
on which the pedlar laid his pack ; a hand- 
some mahogany bureau, at which he looked 
as if envious of the bank-notes therein ; an 
eight-day clock, with Time wielding his 



22 THE miller's daughter. 

scythe above the immemorial words, ^^Tempus 
fwpir and a large oaken dresser furnished 
with a stock of crockery- ware large enough 
to fill a moderate shop. Round about the 
bureau hung files of bills ; scripture prints, 
in handsome frames, adorned the walls, and 
on the high chimney-piece, in front of the 
chimney-corner, stood brazen candlesticks, 
polished to look like gold. In these matters 
Jerusha took a commendable interest, as 
well as in all connected with the household 
of which she was mistress. Indeed, she 
threw her heart into everything she did. 

As she was one who could never enjoy be- 
ing^alone, she ran into the passage, and called 
in a high clear voice, 

*'TaiyI Tilly! come here directly T 
Her summons was answered by a young 
woman in striped blue gown and apron, and 
large white cap, who stood a moment in the 
door-way, awestruck, exclaiming, 



THE miliiEb's daughter. 23 

" Laws, Miss Rushy, there be a zight !" 

Tilly was, however, soon at her young 
mistress's side. She took care to cover her 
red arms and hands with her apron, lest she 
should be tempted to touch ; but responded 
to each inquiry as to which silk or ribbon 
she preferred, by the words " Thick 'un, and 
thick 'un," — proving that she had no choice 
when all was so grand. 

*'But which do you like best?" asked 
Jerusha, imperatively. 

"It bean't vor the likes o' I to deter- 
mine," was the reply, in a voice as stolid as 
her face. 

Although Tilly was endowed with a face 
round as a plum-pudding and red as a 
russet apple, as well as with strong sturdy 
limbs, she was of a desponding turn of 
mind, and usually saw the dark side of 
things, which was particularly aggravating 
to Rushy, to whom life was rose-colour. 



24 THE millee's daughter. 

While the pedlar continued to recommend 
the silks, Tilly fixed her round blue eyes 
upon him, and, as she afterwards expressed 
it, " took agin 'un, because he never looked 
cone in the feace." 

" Only one pound, miss. You wouldn't 
get it for three at Sandport. The greatest 
bargain ever offered," urged the pedlar. 
" Say nineteen and sixpence, for the sake of 
your pretty face. Couldn't take less, upon 
my word and honour." 

*'Then my face is only worth sixpence," 
laughed Rushy, surveying the fawn-coloured 
silk with a delicate pink stripe that her soul 
hankered after. 

"'Measter medn't like he," whispered 
Tilly into Rushy's ear, quite unconscious 
that whispering in company is ungenteel 
and invidious. 

The pedlar eyed her ominously, but 
sought to attract her attention by a bright 



THE miller's daughter. 25 

scarlet ribbon, which he assured her was 
made on purpose for her complexion, and 
which he could offer dirt cheap. 

" Too grand vor the likes o' I," she said, 
gazing stolidly on the ribbon. 

While Jerusha was still undecided, Mark 
came in ; she turned towards him with ani- 
mated delight, and did not perceive the 
significant glance he gave the pedlar. 

" I am so glad you are come, brother," 
she said; "just in time too ; which of these 
lovely silks is prettiest ?" , 

His choice fell instantly on one of gaudy 
pattern and bright colour. He was never 
given to much consideration, and what 
pleased him most at first sight was usually 
best. Rushy's countenance fell. 

*' That is very dear, and I cannot afford 
more than a pound. Besides, I don't like 
red in a gown," she said. 

''Think them over a bit, my pretty miss, 



26 THE miller's daughter. 

while I show the young master some waist- 
coat pieces and handkerchiefs," said the 
pedlar, winking at Mark. 

But Rushy had made up her mind, and 
was about to leave the room in search of a 
one-pound note, at that time in circulation, 
when her father entered the passage. He 
had been to Sandport on business, and, ex- 
pecting to find his supper laid, was sur- 
prised to see the table covered with silks. 
But Rushy welcomed him gaily, and asked 
him to come in quickly and choose her a 
silk gown. 

Mr. Martin Gay was a portly man of 
middle age, as broad-shouldered and wide- 
chested as any of the millers on record, yet 
different from most of them in many re- 
spects. His eyes were dark, and like his 
daughter's, but his face was rather serious 
than mirthful, and if it had ever been fur- 
nished with dimples. Time's scythe had 



THE milIiEr's daughter. 27" 

mown them down, Still there was a 
twinkle in his eye, indicative of latent merri- 
ment ; not that he showed it on the present 
occasion, for he looked severely at the- 
pedlar, who nevertheless began to recom- 
mend his goods. 

" Only nineteen and sixpence, and worth 
three pound, you say, Rushy ?" said Martin 
Gay. '* That's too good a bargain to be 
honest. If I was to sell a sack o' flour at 
less than half price I should say 'twas a 
come-by-chance. Couldn't do it, my lass^ 
and let our young queen have her dues. 
She's as young as you. Rushy. Thee 
'ouldn't take from her revenues, eh, maid ?" 

" Oh no, father," cried Rushy, alarmed. 

•*Then, sir, we won't trouble you to stay 
any longer," said the miller to the pedlar. 
" To buy cheap and sell dear, is bad enough^ 
but I misdoubt them as undersells every- 
body else just as much. Couldn't stand it 



28 THE miller's daughter. 

myself, and our respectable tradesmen at 
Sandport couldn't stand it, and pay the 
taxes. You see, sir, I'm for ' rendering to 
CaBsar the things that are Cassar's/ so if 
you've no objection, we won't have any 
dealings on the present occasion." 

Before the miller had completed this 
speech Mark Gay had left the room. To 
Rushy's surprise the pedlar gathered up his 
silks without remonstrance, muttered "As 
you like, master," and hurried off. 

" Smuggled, my girl I Let's keep * clean 
hands and a pure heart ' as long as we can," 
said the miller to his daughter. 

As soon as the pedlar was out of sight of 
the mill he was joined by Mark. 

"Let's try Miss Martha. She's sure to 
buy," said Mark, and they walked rapidly to 
a house which stood on an eminence at no 
great distance. 

Miss Martha Hasluck, the lady alluded to, 



THE MILLEB's daughter. 29 

was standing in the porch of the said house^ 
shouting lustily, at the top of her voice, the 
words, 

" Dandy, you villain, where are you off 
to? To Rushy, 111 b? bound !" and while 
Mark and the pedlar hurry towards her, we 
must describe her and her abode. 

The latter was called Beachton Villa, 
and was a low-roofed, broad-faced, trellis- 
covered dwelling of some pretension. Al- 
though more modern than the gabled mill, 
it was, in its way, scarcely less picturesque. 
Boses and various trailing plants crept over 
the front and porch to the thatched roof, 
and peeped in at the sashed windows. Its 
surroundings both of land and sea were 
very lovely. It was flanked on the right 
and protected at the back by hills, while on 
the left a musical brook babbled between 
ferny banks, and separated its smooth lawn 
from a large kitchen garden and an old 



so THE miller's daughter. 

farm-house, once the family residence, now 
— poor old hack — degraded by the casualty 
of long living to a carter's dwelling. But if 
the villa was gay with the advantages of 
youth, the farm was sober in the richness of 
years. Its roof was warmed with many- 
hued mosses and lichens, its grey walls 
mellowed by the soft brush of Time. Still 
the youthful villa might be said to look 
down upon the ancient farm, as arrogant 
young people will occasionally do upon 
humble age. The former stood on a slight 
eminence, the latter on the flat below, and 
both glanced up the green slope towards 
the mill, as if wishful, but unable to see it. 
Beyond and below them lay the fishing 
village of Beachton, whilst the mighty sea 
terminated, as it not unfrequently does, the 
scene. 

There was animation everywhere, for the 
farm folk and servants were always astir ; 



THE miller's daughter. 31 

the geese seemed never to cease gabbling in 
the mill-stream that ran into the tiny bay ; 
the '' cattle on a thousand hills " wandered, 
lowed, and bleated continually; and, be- 
fore all, Miss Martha's voice sounded high, 
clear, and commanding from morning till 
night. 

Miss Martha was the sort of lady you 
expected from her voice. She was well- 
nigh tall and large enough to fill her porch, 
and she boasted that no one could usurp it 
while she was in it. Her face was round, 
large, and rosy with health, resolution, and 
sometimes good temper — always good-hu- 
mour, since temper and humour are by no 
means synonymous. Large caps were the 
mode at that period of history, so her crop 
of brown curls was surmounted by a many- 
winged fabric of lace, muslin, and ribbon 
that Mercury might have envied. There 
was nothing either peculiar or eccentric in 



32 THE miller's daughter. 

Miss Martha's dress, beyond a very large 
apron with voluminous pockets, which con- 
tained all the keys of the establishment, 
from the brass instrument that turned the 
cider-barrel to the small key of her large 
desk. Although teetotalism had not become 
a power in the land in her day, she was 
scrupulous in the matter of drink, and a 
drunken ploughman or retainer of any kind 
was sure of summary dismissal. And it was 
remarkable that she had rarely to dismiss 
a servant — for her people knew that if she 
was loud-tongued she was warm-hearted, 
and would see to them in sickness if they 
served her well in health. Besides, she 
knew by name every child and dog in the 
vicinity, and woe to those who maltreated 
either. 

Miss Martha continued to stand in her 
porch until the vagrant Dandy appeared 
trotting through the open gate, and up the 



THE miller's DAUGHTEB. 33 

gravel drive. Although conscious of wrong- 
doing, he stood before Miss Martha, impu- 
dently nodding his head. 

" There's no keeping anything from that 
pert minx Rushy 1" she exclaimed. "All 
the men are after her, and one can't keep 
one's live stock at home. Do you suppose, 
Dandy, that I'm to be your porter whenever 
you choose to go out gallivanting ? There, 
get away with you, and don't look for carrots 
from me." 

Dandy withdrew with a fling to his 
dining-room on the lawn, and Miss Martha 
went to shut the gate. Here she was ac- 
costed by Mark Gay. 

" Such bargains, Miss Martha 1" he ex- 
claimed; "silks, satins, and ribbons for a 
song. A pedlar — I said you would be sure 
to buy — shall I have him up ? He's off to 
Sandport, and can't wait." 

" From over the water, without a doubt," 

VOL, I. D 



34 THE milleb's dauqhteb. 

cried Miss Martha, at her loudest pitch. 
" French sUks, Til be bound." 

" Everybody will hear you, Miss Martha/' 
whispered Mark. " They^U take him for a 
smuggler." 

" What's the odds ? I've no secrets. 
What I buy I'll stand to, whether silks or 
beasts. I'm for free trade, and no mono- 
poly. Tell your man to go round by the 
back, and I'll have a look. I daresay Janey 
won't object to it either, for she says it's 
uncommon dull. Mind you, Mark, you're 
not to be fiddle-faddling and sweethearting 
Janey, for you're not suited. A jolly miller 
and a boarding-school miss — twiddling the 
pianor and fandangoing with her feet, and 
tapestrying with her hands-^-are about as fit 
for one another as — ^why — as Dandy and 
Judy, the old cart-mare I I'm sending. 
Jauey off, for she's no good, as I see, to 
man or beast." 



THB miller's DAUOHTEB. 35 

There was nothing Miss Martha loved 
like a bargain, so when she found Mark 
and the pedlar at the back door, she beck- 
oned them into her dining parlour. The 
pack was laid on a strong mahogany table, 
and soon opened, while she went shouting 
into the passage, 

" Janey, Janey, where on earth are you ? 
Never forthcoming when you're wanted." 

A fair, slim, delicate-looking girl appeared, 
who coloured when she saw Mark. Her hair 
fell in long ringlets over her back and face, 
for what was called a " crop " was then all 
the fashion, and Miss Janey was, as her aunt 
expressed it, "as vain of her curls as a 
mermaid." 

"French goods!" cried Miss Martha, as 
the pedlar unfolded his silks. '' Humph I 
how did you get 'em ? Spirits, too, I dare- 
say, French brandy and good Hollands, if 
we wanted such things. One pound ten for 

d2 



36 THE milleb's daughteb. 

a smuggled gown ! Shouldn't think of it. 
Don't be afraid, man, I'm for free trade, 
and think the excise dues iniquitous. Take 
a pride in evading 'em. Not afraid to say 
so either." 

" Not so loud, if you please, miss — ,"^ 
urged the pedlar. 

"All friends here. Everything above- 
board. I always say what I mean. I'll 
give you one pound for this piece, and 
fifteen shillings for that," said Miss Martha,^ 
at the top of her voice. 

" Cost me more, miss. I assure you the 
goods are honestly come by. A tradesman 
that failed, and— — " 

" Fiddlesticks ! I know all about it, and 
you'd better take my bid, or the coast-guard 
will have it. Now, Janey, you mustn't 
listen to Mark. He's no more taste than an 
oyster. A pale-faced, mealy-mouthed child 



THE MILLERS DAUGHTER. . 37 

like you in that silk, all the colours o' 
yonder sea. This or nothing." 

" Bright colours become me, aunt, every- 
body i^ays so," cried Janey, tossing her 
ringlets. 

*' Once more let me beg you won't call 
me ornt^'^ said Miss Martha, authoritatively, 
who was always taking exception to Jane/s 
vowels. 

''That's how Miss Softwhistle pronounced 
it, wasn't it, Janey? The genteel touch. 
Miss Martha," laughed Mark, heightening 
Janey's delicate flush, who drew herself up, 
and looked offended, while the pedlar made 
another appeal. 

It ended, as bargain-striking usually does, 
by half measures, and the two pieces of silk 
on which Miss Martha, with more than 
womanly decision, had fixed her mind, 
were secured by her at one pound eighteen 



38 THE milleb's daughteb. 

shillings and ninepence, and a ribbon was 
thrown into the bargain. 

The pedlar took his leave as soon as he 
was paid, and hurried up the back walk 
that led through trees to the hilly road^ 
which communicated between Beachton and 
the village of WooUeysheepfold, and thence 
to Sandport. 

When he was gone Miss Martha's con- 
science pricked her. 

'* Now, Mark, don,'t you have anything ta 
do with smuggled goods. It's all very 
well for an old woman like me. Nobody 
'ould dare to call me over the coals. But 
your father sets his face against the traflBic^ 
Mustn't disobey him, Mark, my boy. Re- 
member the fifth commandment." 

" Practise what you preach, Miss Martha, "^ 
retijmed Mark gaily. " I say it's a shame 
to lay such heavy duties on foreign goods. 



THE miller's daughteb. 39 

Good night. Good-bye, Janey ; mind your 
vowels." 

In another minute Mark was running up 
the hill in pursuit of the pedlar. 



40 



CHAPTER III. 



ALWAYS TOO LATE. 



" rpOO late for family worship again, my 
-*- son," was the miller's greeting when 

Mark returned to the mill. '*Is it Miss 

Martha or curly-headed Janey this time? 

The ladies are at the bottom of most 

things/' 

''Both, father; I can't choose between 

them," replied Mark. '' One is all sound, 

the other silence." 

" Miss Martha's the greatest catch," said 

the miller, smiling. " But I wish you 

would come back for prayer-time. No 



THE miller's daughter. 41 

prosperity for them as neglects that. Your 
blessed mother never kept me back from 
worship, but always gave me a hint to be 
gone when father was setting out this very 
Bible, on this very table. She knew the 
time to a minute." 

Martin Gay laid his hand on the Book, 
from which he had just read a chapter to 
his daughter, Tilly, and his men, and look- 
ed up anxiously at Mark, who averted his 
eyes, and stooped to fondle a large white 
fiheep-dog that had poked his nose into his 
hand. Father and son were as great a con- 
trast as Mark and Dangerfield. The one 
burly and broad, with a fine, shrewd, sensi- 
ble, concentrated face ; the other with roving 
eyes and a roving nature. 

" Well, God bless thee, my boy ; be sure 
to say your prayers, as you weren't here for 
worship, and be in time for the future," 
continued Martin Gay, rising to go to bed, 



42 THE miller's daughter. 

and putting his hand fondly on his son's 
shoulder. 

Jerusha was ready with his candle-stick, 
shining like silver, which she always brought 
herself. When she had given it to him, to- 
gether with her good-night kiss, and re- 
ceived in return the parting benediction she 
expected, she seated herself in the chair he 
had vacated. 

"Now, Mark, let us have a chat," she 
said* 

"Not a lecture, Rushy," replied her 
brother, sitting down opposite her. "I 
won't be lectured." 

" I am not going to lecture. But nothing 
troubles father so much as your not being 
in for prayers," she returned. '"* We can't 
expect others to come if you don't, and you 
know father likes a large congregation." 

" So do all preachers, whether parsons or 
methodies," said Mark, lightly. "The 



T^R miller's daughteb. 43< 

bigger the crowd the louder they holloa." 

"That isn't father's way," said Rushy, 
offended. " The more earnest he feels the 
quieter he grows. And the more hurt hia 
heart is the less he says." 

" Lecture the first," exclaimed Mark, his 
eyes on the door. "Do you know, Miss 
Martha bought the silk you coveted, and I 
think it was for Janey." 

" Well, I didn't want it," she sighed. "Da 
you think the silks were really smuggled ?" 

" What if they were ? It is only offering 
foreign goods at a fair price. That pedlar 
makes an honest living by buying on this 
side the water what sailors briflg from the 
other. They don't steal it ; they only buy 
cheap and sell cheapl, and introduce into 
one country the manufactures of another. 
There's French brandy and Dutch hol- 
lands " 

" We're better without them," interrupted 



44 THE miller's daughter. 

Rushy. *'I hope you don't know any 
smugglers, Mark ?" 

She looked up quickly, and fixed her 
eyes on Mark; but it was vain to try to 
catch his. Those wandering fires were 
apparently studying the pictures hanging 
opposite. 

*' I hope you don't know any robbers of 
orchards, or poachers of rabbits," he return- 
ed. ''And you mustn't make acquaintance 
with the ladies from foreign parts, for they 
are the worst of smugglers. One, bigger 
than Miss Martha, landed in England the 
other day, and being suspected, was request- 
ed to undress. She was swathed in lace, 
and when her swaddling clothes were re- 
moved she was as slim as Janey. Ha, ha, 
Rushy, the women beat the men !" 

" More's the pity ; we should set them a 
better example. How do Miss Martha and 
Janey get on ?" 



THE miller's daughter. 45 

'' I didn't ask 'em.'' 

"You're not really thinking of Janey, 
brother ?" 

" Not at this moment. You're not really 
thinking of cousin Solomon, sister, who 
thinks of you ?" 

Rushy replied with a hearty laugh, and 
her bright face and white teeth so inspired 
Mark that he jumped up and gave her a 
brotherly hiig. 

" If Miss Martha makes Janey her heiress, 
then I shall be thinking of her from morn- 
ing to night; and if she makes solemn 
Solomon her heir, then I know where your 
thoughts will be," he said, standing against 
the chimney-corner, and surveying his sister. 

" Indeed they will not. I wouldn't have 
Solomon Hasluck if he had Squire Worth- 
ington's wealth, and were a magistrate, and 
as clever as the rector. And I do like 
clever people," retorted Rushy. 



46 THE miller's daughter. 

*' But Solomon's a preacher," said Mark, 
emphasising the last word. ^* A holy man, 
Kushy, think of that ! A sort of church- 
methodist." 

"1 daresay he is very good," replied 
Rushy, changing her tone. "And I like 
good people too. But there's old Thomas 
Fudgit pointing at half-past ten," she added, 
looking at the clock, which she had so 
<»lled from childhood. "Time goes so 
fast! Even these long days are not long 
enough for all one has to do." 

"Fast!" echoed Mark. " Why, it drags 
in this slow place. Thomas Fudgit and the 
mill-wheel go together. Always the same 
dull time — click, click ; tick, tick ; tick, 
tick; click, click. It drives one out of 
one's senses ! " 

"If one had any," said Rushy, sagely. 
•^'If I have any, they compose and sober 



THE miller's daughter. 47 

mine. Old Thomas seems to me a second 
father, and the wheel a sort of music-master. 
It changes time and tune, according to my 
spirits. If they are high it sings a harvest 
song ; if they are low, it laments like ' Auld 
Robin Gray.' " 

*^ The noise makes me as deaf as a post, 
Rushy." 

" Oh, Mark ! father says he gets deaf as 
a post when he's out of hearing of the mill. 
I wonder why people are made so differ- 
ent ; though, to be sure, it would be dull if 
we were all alike." 

"You'll find me drowned in the mill 
pond, or cogging the wheel one of these 
days, if I stop here," said Mark, half savage- 
ly, half reflectively. 

" Don't talk so wildly, brother. Suppose 
God were to take you at your word, and let 
you fall in by accident even. Do you think 



48 THE miller's daughter. 

you are prepared to meet Him in the spirit ? 
It seems to me that life is short enough al- 
ready, and I tremble when I remember that 
father is getting old. Not that age has 
much to do with it, for only last week 
pretty Letty Sharland was laid in the 
ground, and she only seventeen; younger 
than you or I. It may be our turn next. 
But then, what would father do ?" 

" You are too wise, Rushy," said Mark, 
uneasily. *'I'll buy you a wig and gown 
when I make my next voyage. You were 
born for a judge. If I go to the Cape next 
turn you shall come along, and then you 
can preach to the niggers. Fll find you a 
live missionary for a husband, and a hundred 
or so of young blacks to teach.'' 

•'I should like that, Mark. But I hope 
to stay with father all our lives. You don't 
mean that you are thinking of the sea again, 
now that he has almost made up his mind 



THE miller's daughter. 49 

to take you into partnership. That would 
be too bad after all your promises. And 
father so patient and good," 

"Can't say, Rushy. One's thoughts are 
one's own. ' What's out, is all about,' you 
know. Good night. Dream of Solomon, 
and I'll dream of Janey. If Janey were 
only as pretty as you, I think I might settle 
down. But she's milk-and-water, and I like 
something more spirity." 

Sajdng which, Mark kissed Rushy and 
went to bed. 

She followed him up-stairs, and retired to 
her tidy little chamber. It was a sultry 
night, and she looked out of the open 
window, whence she could catch sight of the 
distant ocean, above the intervening rising 
ground. She sighed as she thought of her 
brbther's yearning for the dangerous element, 
and wished he loved the clear stream that 
flowed beneath her lattice as well. Both 

VOL. I. K 



50 THE miller's daughter. 

shone, sparkled, and danced in the moon- 
light — the one, emblem of the great, un- 
certain world he longed for ; the other of 
the narrow, peaceful home she delighted 
in. 

" And we might be so happy !" she sighed. 
*^ But if I fail to keep my temper, how can 
I expect him to bridle his wishes ? I wonder 
where temper comes from, and where wishes 
come from — the heart, or the head, or the 
soul?" 

With which philosophical problem on her 
mind Rushy knelt down and asked for en- 
lightenment and guidance of Him who alone 
can safely light and lead the pilgrim of 
earth on his doubtful way. 

The following morning Mark did not 
appear at breakfast, and Jerusha went into 
the back kitchen to make inquiries concern- 
ing him of Levi Tuck, who was finishing his 
breakfast in the chimney-comer, while Tilly, 



THE miller's daughter. 51 

mounted on pattens, was mopping up the 
water she had thrown over the floor. 

" Have you seen Mark, Levi Tuck ?" asked 
Jerusha. 

**Ees, miss; I zee un go vor a dip. He's 
vonder o' the zea nor I. If you be drowned 
in, well an' good ; but vor to go an' wash 
yourzelf all auver ov your awn accord, 'tis a 
temptin' o' Providence. Bad enough vor 
to be zwilled wi' vresh water by the loikes 
o' Tilly, but worse vor to tumble 'ead auver 
^eels into the zea of your own intent." 

Levi looked so stolid that no one would 
have thought him capable of sufficient cun- 
ning to be in league with the smugglers, or 
to frame an excuse for absent Mark. But 
lies breed lies. He was a powerful man, 
and could, as the miller was wont to say, 
" do a good day's work, though he was all 
sinews and no brains." When he rose, having 
finished his breakfast, he gave himself a shake, 

e2 



52 THE milleb's davghteb. 

preparatory to work, and was sharply repri- 
manded by Tilly, who, nevertheless, was 
supposed to have a particular liking for 
him. 

" Lawks-a-massy, Levi ! zee what theer't 
a-doing !" she cried, as a quarter of a peck 
of flour fell from his smock-frock upon her 
floor, so lately washed. 

He escaped, however, from the mop which 
she levelled at him, and hastened to join his 
comrades in the mill. The miller was there 
before him, so there was no dawdling over 
meals or work till mid-day at least. Carts 
were already waiting with grist ; horses and 
donkeys came for bags of flour ; men and 
women appeared and disappeared, bearing 
the meal to make their staff of life ; and so 
the mill-wheel turned busily till evening 
came round again. 

" See how hard he works ! Don't let's 
be beaten by wood and water," the miller 



THE miller's daughter, 53 

would urge, . pointing to the wheel, which 
was a living creature to him. 

Mark came in to breakfast soon after the 
miller left the table. He was just finishing 
when Janey appeared, her ringlets in dis- 
order, her pale face flushed. 

^ Aunt has sent to ask if Mr. Gay can 
spare any men to help in the hay. The 
barometer is falling, and she is sure it will 
rain. I ran all the way ; Tm quite out of 
breath, and I mustn't stay a minute, for aunt 
said if 1 dawdled I should have no silk 
^own." 

*' Never mind, I'll give you a green one 
instead," said Mark. "I'll pitch if you'll 
rake after me." 

"I don't think I can," returned Janey, 
glancing at her hands, " I never do at home, 
you know; but I'll try, if you'll teach 



me." 



"They're a deal whiter than Rushy's," 



54 THE miller's daughter. 

said Mark, looking at the hands. "Let's 
go and talk to father about it." 

They found the miller up aloft among the 
flour-sacks, and when he descended he look- 
ed like a snow-man. 

" Always glad to oblige Miss Martha, my 

■ 

pretty Janey," he said. " Tell her she shall 
have half now, and the whole in the after- 
noon. It looks threatening. * Save the hay 
before the storm' is one of my mottoes^ 
* Winnow well before you grind ' is another. 
I hate to see wheat wi' the chaff in it." 

" Shall I go at once, father ?" asked Mark, 
always ready for any change of occupa- 
tion. 

" By all means, my son ; and I'll send up 
the waggon and horses in an hour at latest. 
I'm glad thee art so willing; I like the 
ready horse, even if he do fail first. But 
thou art both ready and strong.'* 

" Tilly is a capital raker, father," put in 



rfkitfhMka*^^ 



THE miller's daughter. 55 

Jerusha. " I can manage the house-work if 
she may go too." 

" The sooner the better,"* replied the jolly 
miller ; " but we mustn't lose time if we're 
to grind the corn and save the hay. Now, 
Levi Tuck, don't be gaaping like a shark." 

" Aunt told me to ask the fishermen to 
lend a hand. I don't know them all, and 
I'm half afraid," said Janey. 

" I know them as if they were my own 
babes," cried Mark, with alacrity, " I'll stir 
them up, while you go home and tell Miss 
Martha, and secure two gowns instead of 
one. We'll save the hay." 

Janey blushed and simpered, and whis- 
pered to Rushy that Miss Martha particularly 
wanted to see her. But Rushy said that 
somebody must stay at home and keep 
house, and that somebody was herself, so 
she could not visit the villa at present. 

While Martin Gay and Rushy began to 



56 THE miller's daughter. 

do double duty, and Tilly and the men were 
unusually alive, Mark and Janey ran down 
the slope by the mill-stream. Mark thought 
he had never seen anything prettier than 
Janey's curls as they untwisted and j9[oated 
in the morning breeze, and Janey believed 
she had never beheld anyone so good-look- 
ing as Mark. They certainly were a comely 
couple. 

They stood a moment on the rustic bridge, 
hand in hand. The happy water rippled 
and murmured amongst the sedges at their 
feet, the happier birds sang their love-songs 
around, cattle lowed, sheep bleated, ducks 
and geese pattered, while the half-veiled 
sun tried hard to disperse the clouds, and so 
equally dispensed light and shade. Mark 
looked into Janey's grey eyes, and felt im- 
pelled to say, 

^' You are very pretty, Janey ; like a snow- 
drop or a white dove. You will promise to 



THE miller's daughter. 57 

come and rake after me. You can make 
believe to work, you know, and needn't 
burn your white hands. I should be sorry 
to see them brown, like Rushy's." 

But Janey would not promise. She was 
shy and modest, in spite of her fine manners, 
and broke away from Mark, taking the 
green road to the villa, while he, somewhat 
angered, hastened to the beach in search of 
the fishermen. 



58 



CHAPTER IV. 

UNEXPECTED VISITORS. 

IT did not take Mark long to scramble 
down the rocky enclosure of the bay 
and hamlet. It was low water, so he waded 
across the fresh stream that ran through the 
salt sands towards the sea, and hailed a 
group of men who were either spreading 
their nets to dry, or lazily speculating on 
the tide, near their boats on the beach. 
Thanks to Miss Martha's voice and influence, 
the dozen huts and the small shop and 
public that composed the village — if such it 
could be called — were not untidy, and the 
fishermen's wives and families were not ill- 



THE miller's daughter. 59 

clad. Still they were very poor ; and the 
men earned their miserable living as best 
they might. It could, indeed, scarcely be 
called a living. The farm-labourers were 
poor enough, but not so badly off as the 
fishermen ; for the landsmen had so many 
perquisites that low wages were supple- 
mented by them : while the toiler on the 
sea had none. The miller's men had the 
best of it, and he could always get his de- 
mand supplied. 

The fishermen had to trust to the pre- 
carious freight that they hauled in by their 
seine or mackerel net, and the sprats, conger- 
eels, and blin that weighted their other 
snares ; and hence their readiness to abet 
the smuggler. When we consider that one 
seine may cost a hundred pounds, and that 
many men must join to purchase it, also that 
a boat is a dear investment, we see at a 
glance, not only the hazards, but the outlay 



•60 THE miller's daughter. 

of our fishermen. Each Beachton man 
knew his own particular portion of the seine, 
which, when Mark hailed his acquaintances, 
was carefully stretched out on the beach to 
dry. 

" Haven't you finished mending that net 
yet, Job Tuck ? You've been at it morning, 
noon, and night ever since I was born. 
There will soon be no room for a sprat to 
get out, and we all like a chance for life,'* 
shouted Mark, pausing below a hut, used as 
a sort of receptacle for tools, nets, and the like, 
outside of which Job was seated on a long 
bench, bending over the said net. 

"Shan't never a vinished 'un, Measter 
Mark. Zo zoon as I've darned one hole 

« 

the tarnation vish do break another, wallor- 
ing and vloundering to get out. They med 
zo well lie quiet, and take death easy, as 
we're obliged to do." 

*' You must put it aside to-day, and help 



THE miller's daughter. 61 

to get in Miss Martha's hay," said Mark, 
springing up the rocky wall, and standing 
before the hut. " You can station Dan here 
to mind the nets," he added, in a whisper, 
with a significant nod. 

Job Tuck rolled his eyes, and returned a 
curious wink, which Mark understood. He 
was not like his brother Levi, being gaunt 
and wiry, and having a more expressive 
countenance, which means that, whereas 
Levi's was stolid, Job's was cunning. Job 
had also given his mouth a peculiar twist by 
constant chewing and smoking the obnoxious 
weed, which added a comic touch to his 
bronzed features. 

Mark glanced inside the hut, which was 
nearly full of old seafaring matters, that 
left scarcely space enough for a man's body ; 

then, with another expressive nod as he 
peeped beneath the rubbish, he hurried 
down the beach to rally the other fishermen 



€2 THE miller's daughter. 

round Miss Martha's standard. They, like 
Mark, were most of them ready for a change 
of occupation, and '^ Anything to oblige Miss 
Martha," was the general cry. Mark said 
they must bring all the women with them, 
and leave the boys to watch the nets and 
boats till nightfall; when, weather propi- 
tious, they meditated a mackerel haul. The 
women and children, whether of the sea or 
farm,^were mostly engaged in making nets, 
by which they eked out a livelihood ; but 
all were alive at a call from Miss Martha, 
and the prospect of a sixpence and a supper. 

"Have you seen the Sea Serpent T' asked 
Mark of one of the men, who was looking 
at some distant object through a telescope. 

" I'm thinking she be right a-head," was 
the whispered reply. "That do look on- 
common like her." 

Mark took the telescope, and recognised 
the vessel. 



THE miller's daughter. 63 

Meanwhile Janey had returned to MissMar- 
tha, who was routing about her little world 
as usual, reprimanding here, giving orders 
there, and making a great stir. Every time 
she went through the passage she knocked 
the barometer impatiently, and said aloud, 
" What a fool I am ! as if that provoking 
machine could stay the rain ! It sticks at 
one place as tight as a muscle. Here you 
are at last !" she added, as Janey entered, 
out of breath ; " as well send cock-robin a 
message as you ; better, for he knows his 
business. All birds do. Look you at that 
starling following Dandy; he knows that 
Dandy pulls up the worms with the grass, 
and so by foresight gets his dinner. If 
Dandy was in the stable Star would be 
a-top of a sheep pecking the worms out of 
his fleece, and earning his meal. Birds 
have a deal more sense than boarding-school 
misses. I'll be bound you wouldn't know 



f 

64 THE miller's daughter. 

how to beat a snail on a stone till you break 
his shell and dine upon him, as a thrush 
does." 

" I don't think I should, aunt," said Janey, 
shuddering. '' But, indeed, Fve been quick, 
and everybody's coming." 

This announcement turned Miss Martha 
from one of her pet themes — the universal 
genius of animals. She would never call 
it instinct. She was astonished to find Janey 
ready for service of any kind, and proposing 
to start at once for th6 hay-field. 

"You!" she shouted. "Tou must put 
on those new-fangled articles — goloshes and 
a waterproof, then, in case of a shower — 
and gloves I don't forget them. There ! 
get along with you, and don't begin the 
rain," she added, seeing tears in Janey's 
eyes, who, nevertheless, hurried to the hay- 
field. 

Nearly all Beachton had gone thither, 



THE miller's daughter. 65 

and before two o'clock the miller, his men, 
and his team, followed the general example, 
so that Miss Martha and Jerusha were left 
alone in their respective dwellings to keep 
house. Neither of them, however, remain- 
ed long alone, for Miss Martha was, much 
against her will, disturbed by a visit from 
her friend and admirer, Captain Bowles, 
while Jerusha was surprised by two in- 
truders, both equally unexpected. 

Jerusha had taken her work to the porch 
— her favourite resort of a warm day — and 
was busily stitching at one of Mark's wrist- 
bands. She had much sewing to do, and 
was, therefore, not displeased to have an 
afternoon and evening to herself; for, al- 
though of a disposition to cling to every- 
one she loved, she was *' never less alone 
than when alone." The rain had kept off, 
though the sun had not succeeded in his 
conquest of the clouds. But there came a 

VOL. I. F 



€6 THE milleb's daughter. 

cool breeze from the sea, which played 
around her and her flowers, and seemed to 
brace the throats of the singing birds, usually 
relaxed during the heat. They warbled 
lustily and in continuous chorus in the woods 
beneath the hills, while in the clouds above 
the larks were searching for the sun, and 
calling upon him, with their exquisite and 
heaven-born harmonies, to come forth and 
meet them. The sheep-dog Surfy — so 
called from his white coat — lay at Jerusha's 
feet, asleep, and a big tortoiseshell cat 
slumbered on the opposite porch-seat. Now 
and again the cows and sheep appeared and 
disappeared in front, as they came and went 
in search of the' sweet short grass ; or the 
impudent crows perched close to the low 
wall. The birds were as tame in front as 
the poultry at the back of the mill, but, as a 
rule, the feathered creatures preferred the 
back, on account of the stray grain that fell 



THE miller's daughteb. 67 

from the bushels and sacks of grist. Of a 
hard Winter the back was a sight to see. 

But this is Summer, and Rushy warbles a 
low tone over her work, as if to unite in 
Nature's jubilant refrain. She is thinking of 
Mark, and her thoughts are almost prayers, 
for she wishes that it would please God to 
make him contented with home, since by 
nature nothing pleases him but a wandering 
life. It is difficult to know whether thought 
or her needle flies quickest, but the low- 
voiced hum slackens as they ply together, 
and she becomes so much engrossed by the 
twain that she is unconscious of a watcher 
and listener. She is, however, startled by a 
short cough, and, looking up from her 
work, sees a stranger. She rises at once, 
not caring to be subject to his scrutiny; but 
he is not terrific. He is a good-looking 
young man, whom she takes for a gentle- 
man; for, although he has a small valise 

r2 



68 THE miller's daughter. 

hung by a walking-stick over one shoulder, 
there is a certain air about him which she 
fancies above the common, and she is a 
shrewd observer. 

*' Would you kindly tell me the way to 
Sandport ?" he said, raising a straw hat with 
his disengaged hand, and approaching the 
low wall. 

Jerusha came towards the gate, followed 
by Surfy, who barked a little, and eyed him 
sagaciously. 

" You cross the bridge down below, sir, 
follow the path to the right through the 
trees, then take the lane which leads into 
the turnpike to Sandport," she said, with 
her clear, decided voice. 

"Thank you; and how far have I to 

go?" he asked. 

''Between three and four miles," she 
replied. 

"I have walked over fifteen already 



■^ W ,*< I ■■■ 11 H I rf-^ 



THE miller's daughter. 69 

along the coast," he said, wearily, laying 
down his valise. " May I rest here for a 
few minutes ?" pointing to the wall. 

" Certainly, sir," replied . Jerusha. " May 
I offer you a glass of cider or milk ?" 

•' I should be truly thankful for a glass 
of milk," he returned, with a grateful 
glance ; '' but I do not like to trouble you. 
I have been wandering ever since early 
breakfast without food, and am fairly beat 
for want of it." 

She went at once into the house, while 
he seated himself amongst the ivy on the 
wall, and Surfy remained to watch, uncer- 
tain of his intentions. 

"A careful guardian of a very pretty 
charge," remarked the stranger, patting the 
dog, who, however, withdrew from his 
civilities. 

Jerusha soon re-appeared, bearing a small 
tray, on which was the promised milk and 



70 THE miller's daughter. 

a plate of bread and cheese. Her mind 
had been much running upon smugglers 
since her disappointment about the silk 
dress, and her one idea now was that the 
stranger might be one, and that the valise 
might contain goods. 

"He looks respectable all the same," 
she thought, as she surveyed the easy 
figure on the low wall, and presented the 
tray. 

" I am very grateful for your kindness, 
and feel it all the more because I am a 
stranger in these parts," he said, taking the 
tray. " You have fine bold sea and cliffs 
out yonder !" 

Rushy's suspicions returned, for she knew 
that half the smugglers were foreign. 
Still he spoke excellent English, which she 
could appreciate, for she was a great reader, 
and studied her native tongue carefully, 
with a view to her own improvement. She 



THE miller's daughter. 71 

re-seated herself in the porch, and took up 
her work, while he ate and drank with a 
good appetite, the tray resting before him 
on the wall. He continued the conversa- 
tion by remarks on the beauty of the situa- 
tion, and questions concerning the neigh- 
bourhood. His inquiries appeared to be 
prompted by something beyond mere curi- 
osity, and when he finally asked if there were 
a coastguard station near, she became relac«t 
tantly convinced that he must have some- 
thing to do with the illicit trade so obnox- 
ious to her father. 

" We have no station within five miles," 
she said. "No need of one, for we are all 
farmers, or millers, or labourers, or fisher- 
men in these parts." 

There was an inflection as of pride in her 
voice, which appeared to strike the stranger, 
for he smiled as he looked gravely, and 
with a sort of inquisition at her, across her 



72 THE miller's daughter. 

flower-beds. She had staydd her needle to 
make her statement, and lifted her head 
high, as if to prove that they were above 
suspicion. 

" I am glad to stumble upon so honest a 
quarter of the globe ; I hope I may some 
day visit it again," said the young man, 
" We do turn up where we least expect it 
in this labyrinth of a world, and meet with 
people whom we never thought to see again. 
I have found it so. Is that your experi- 
ence ?" 

*'No; I always see the same faces over 
and over, and over again. I never expect 
anything new, except in books, and there, 
somehow, one looks for it, particularly in 
travels and tales." 

" You are a reader, then, as well as a 
worker. You women have the best of it 

when you lead such restful lives, with old 

« 

friends about you, and books and flowers, 



THE miller's daughter. 73 

and this peaceful country," sighed the 
stranger. "We men must wander and 
strive." 

"Not restful, except in sleep," said 
Rushy. "Country folk work as hard as 
town folk. All Beachton is a-field to-day 
to help bring in Miss Martha's hay, and I 
assure you, sir, they work with as good a 
will at pitching, raking, and carrying as 
other people at their occupations." 

" So do you, I should think, if I may 
venture to say so." 

" Yes ; but not more than others who are 
born to it. It is just as it happens. Rich 
people take to idleness just as the poor do to 
industry." 

The stranger was struck with Jerusha's 
philosophy, and muttered something about 

» 

" the accident of birth," which did not reach 
her. 

" But you are not poor?" he said aloud. 



74 THE miller's daughter. 

" Oh no ! we are reckoned rich," she re- 
plied, with a sort of pride in which there was 
no assumption. " But then father and grand- 
father and all of us have been workers — ex- 
cept " 

Eushy was strictly truthful, and after the 
word workers she paused, remembering Mark; 
then paused again, suddenly recollecting that 
she was talking to an entire stranger. . What 
was there in the young man she now saw for 
the first time that seemed to invite a confi- 
dence she would not have given elsewhere ? 
But he, conscious of her hesitation, said 
hastily, 

" Pray forgive me, I had no intention of 
being inquisitive, but sometimes one asks 
questions for idleness, or just to prolong a con- 
versation. I hate impertinent and familiar 
curiosity. I hope you will excuse me." 

*' Certainly, sir, I did not find you famil- 
iar ; but it is I who am wrong to be so glib," 



THE miller's daughter. 75 

she replied, blushing, as she cast a glance 
from her mirthful eyes, neither encouraging 
nor repellent, on the good-looking stranger. 

" Thank you sincerely for your hospital- 
ity," he said, rising and presenting the tray. 

*'You are kindly welcome, sir," she 
replied, coming forward to receive it with 
natural ease and grace. 

Their eyes met, and, in spite of so short an 
acquaintance, there was a regretful expression 
in them. It is ever sad to part from one with 
whom you have exchanged a kindness, or 
conversed agreeably. So thought Jerusha, 
as the stranger took up his valise, again rais* 
ed his hat, stroked Surfy, and departed with 
a " Good bye," and another " Thank you." 

She and Surfy watched him down the slope 
and on the bridge. Standing there a mo- 
ment, he turned, and, seeing her, took off 
his hat. She hurried into the house, 
. ashamed of being caught looking after a 



76 THE miller's daughter. 



• 



strange young man. But she did not feel 
inclined to resume her sewing. She took a 
duster instead, and went into her parlour to 
dust her treasures, which consisted chiefly of 
valuable old china and various books. Not 
only had she many volumes of her own, but 
the miller possessed a stock of large, gold- 
lettered works on religious and useful secu- 
lar subjects that he had taken in from year 
to yearof itinerant vendors, and had gorgeous- 
ly bound. There were, moreover, one or 
two of Captain Marry at's novels, and " The 
Pirate," which belonged to Mark, and which 
she was obliged to confess to having read a 
great many times. 

But even the most vigorous dusting would 
not remove from her mind's eye that good- 
looking, polite, agreeable stranger, and she 
was inclined to repine as she thought how 
difierent he was from any of her friends and 
admirers. She even went so far as to look 



THE miller's daughter. 77 

out of the parlour window, whence the bridge 
was visible. But she started back at sight of 
another figure approaching the house, and 
burst out laughing, exclaiming, 

" Cousin Solomon ! what on earth shall I 
do with him ? what will Mark say now ? 
Must I keep him to tea ?" 

Then she hurried into the porch, and with- 
drew her work before her new visitor came 
in sight of the front door. 



78 



CHAPTER V. 



A FIRST PROPOSAL. 



TTTHEN Mr. Solomon Hasluck entered 
^ * unannounced he found Jerusha 
seated demurely at her sewing. She had 
placed herself in the window-seat of the 
hall, which seat she had so covered with 
herself and her work-basket as to leave no 
space for a companion in the old-fashioned 
embrasure. 

" Good afternoon, Jerusha," said the new 
arrival, with a gravity which pre-supposed 
some evil tidings. 

"How d'ye do, Cousin Solomon? Have 
you seen Miss Martha ? and do you think it 



THE miller's daughter. 79 

will rain ? She's in sad want of hands to 
help save her hay/' said Rushy briskly, ris- 
ing to shake hands. 

*' Ha I I saved mine yesterday. All 
ricked. Aunt Martha must have delayed. 
I certainly think we shall have wet," returned 
Solomon, not taking Rushy's very broad 
hint to go and help Miss Martha, but seating 
himself as near her as he conveniently could 
in a hard, triangular elbow-chair. 

Mr. Solomon Hasluck was a tall, gaunt 
man, with a lank, sallow face. He had 
well-oiled black hair, and bushy black 
whiskers, carefully cut. He was clean 
shaven, but for the whiskers, and his thin 
lips were like a straight double line 
between them. His eyes were without 
much expression, and what there was 
betokened a certain hardness. Yet he was 
not ilMooking, though Jerusha thought him 
so. He was in his Sunday best, which con- 



80 THE miller's daughter. 

sisted of a dark blue coat with brass 
buttons, a yellow waistcoat, prominent 
shirt. frill, stiff shirt-collar just reaching the 
whiskers, light brown knee-breeches, and 
gaiters. He affected the costume of his 
elders, and disdained the trousers which 
Mark and a few beaux wore. He was not 
far from forty, and looked older, though he 
was more active in his habits than most of 
his younger neighbours. He had a ponder- 
ous gold watch-chain and seals, a solid gold 
shirt-pin, and was altogether of the well-to- 
do order of yeoman, though not the typical 
one. Some one had unkindly dubbed him 
as Solemn Solomon, a title which had some- 
how stuck to him, and which Mark had 
impudently abbreviated into Double S. 
Whether he owed this to his gravity, or to 
a somewhat ostentatious profession of reli- 
gious observances, was not known. As he 
sat, with his long legs crossed, his back 



THE miller's DAUGHTEB. 81 

straight/ his eyes on Jerusha, and his watch- 
chain in his hand; that damsel made an 
invidious comparison between him and the 
easy figure she had so lately seen on the 
low wall without^ which was not favourable 
to his suit, if he came prepared to declare 
himself. 

'* You are always busy, Jerusha. I ap- 
prove of that," he began, after a short 
silence. "Like the busy bee, improving 
every shining hour. Dr. Watts's hymn, you 
know. I daresay you can repeat it." 

" Why do you always call me Jerusha ?" 
she asked, by way of diversion. " All my 
relations call me Rooshy — quite broad, 
which is right." 

"For two reasons," he replied senten- 
tiously. "The least cogent" ("I wonder 
where he got that word 1" thought Jerusha) 
"that we are but distantly related; the 
most, that I considered it unscriptural to 

VOL. I. G 



82 THE milleb's daughter. 

shorten Bible names. A Christian name 
should be what is written — neither added 
to nor lessened." 

" Ah 1" ejaculated Rushy. " You don't 
like what Miss Martha calls * the tail to it.' " 

" Exactly. I prefer Jane to Janey, Je- 
rusha to Rushy, Matilda to Tilly, and so 
forth." 

There was another pause, and Rushy dread- 
ed pauses when Solomon and she were tke-h- 
iSte. Never having had a declared lover, 
she did not object to his being considered a 
friendly admirer, but she fervently hoped it 
would stop there. Such was not, however, 
his desire, for he had actually come to pro- 
pose. 

'• I daresay you have had no tea," she 
suggested. 

**I have tea'd," he replied; "and I did 
not come to eat or drink with you to-day, I 
came for discourse. I find you better in* 



THE miller's daughteb. 83 

formed, Jerusha, than most young women, 
and — ^better-looking." 

" Indeed ! You are complimentary, Cousin 
Solomon," exclaimed Jerusha, laughing 
merrily. ** I verily believe that is the first 
pretty speech you ever made in your life. 
At least, in my life, for of course I cannot 
tell what you did before I was born." 

" It is so,. Jerusha. A man should never 
compliment without he has his intentions. 
It raises vain expectations. Women are 
the weaker vessels, and " he paused. 

"Men should never pour compliments 
into them lest they should burst with the 
flattery !" she supplied. 

" Precisely. You always understand me, 
Jerusha." 

Another pause, while she turned to the 
window, ostensibly to thread her needle, 
really to avoid his gaze ; for his cold eyes 
followed her pertinaciously. 

g2 



84 THE miller's daughter. 

"How provoking these needles are! 
They put such small eyes that one cannot 
thread them. I must seek another. Ex- 
cuse me a moment, Cousin Solomon." 

She rose, but he intercepted her by taking 
her hand, which caused her to sit down 
again, after withdrawing it, and quickly re- 
sume the needle. 

" Do not leave me, Jerusha ; I have made 
up my mind," he said, bringing his chiair 
close to the window-seat, and bending his 
head towards her. 

"Is that anything new, Cousin Solomon? 
Why, you have the most made-up mind al- 
ways of anyone I know," she replied, 
moving away from him. 

"Assuredly, except on one point. I 
now acknowledge that * man was not born 
to live alone/ and I propose that yo\i shall 
be my helpmeet." 

She perceived that the case was serious, 



THE miller's daughter. 85 

and, laying down the refractory needle, 
turned towards him. She had never had a 
proposal, and had often wondered what sort 
of thing it would be when it came — for she 
doubted not that it would come — and here 
it was. She had also wondered how it was 
to be answered; but she found no diflSiculty 
on the present occasion. 

" You are too old for me. Cousin Solo- 
mon," she said, almost as grave as he. " You 
are nearly as old as father." 

" I have considered that, Jerusha ; I am 
hard upon forty; you are near twenty. 
There is nothing in Scripture against that 
slight difference; indeed, if you remem- 
ber " 

" To be sure, cousin, I do remember," she 
interrupted ; " but I suppose if age is of no 
consequence, liking is. I like you well 
enough as a cousin, but I should not like 
you at all for a husband." 



86 THE miller's daughter. 

Jerusha was always decided and plain- 
spoken, as Solomon knew, but he had not 
quite expected this sort of decision and 
plain-speaking. His long face grew longer, 
and his cold eyes unpleasant. 

" You will think better of it, my dear," 
he said slowly, looking at her; "I have 
always been fond Of you, and now I feel that 
I cannot get on without you, which proves 
that you were intended for me. I assure 
you that I see you and think of you, when 
I ought to have my mind on my business — 
or — my prayers. Woman was made for 
man, you know; You were made for me.'' 

"But you couldn't be made for me, 
cousin, since you were born twenty years 
before me," said Jerusha, the comic side 
replacing the serious, 

''Man was not made for woman," he 
returned. " You will think it over, Jerusha. 
I will speak to your father. Depend upon 



THE milleb's daughteb. 87 

it, you and I will be man and wife. I never 
yet resolved to do what I did not accom- 
plish, and I am not hasty in my resolu- 
tions." 

"Why, cousin, you nursed me when I 
was a baby, and were a playmate of my 
dear mother's. It is you who will think 
better of it, and not I, who can't think of it 
at aU." 

" But I have made up my mind, Jerusha," 
he said doggedly. 

"Then the sooner you unmake it the 
better. I do not love you, Cousin Solomon, 
and I will' never marry you." . 

His manner angered her, so she rose, and 
tried to escape. But he caught her, and 
succeeded in taking her hands, and so 
detaining her against her will. 

" I will tell father if you do not let me 
go, sir," she cried, turning on him eyes 
flashing with anger, and speaking authorita- 



88 THE miller's daughteb. 

tively. " Are you not ashamed of yourself 
for being so ill-mannered ?" 

"Not at all, since I have made up my 
mind/' he replied, retaining her hands. 

She struggled to free herself from his 
grasp ; but the more she strove the more 
determined he was to detain her. She did 
not like the expression of his countenance, 
and began to feel almost afraid of him. But 
she showed no fear. Resuming her natural 
playfulness she said, 

"Well, Cousin Solomon, this game at 
French and English is yours. I acknow- 
ledge you the stronger, though you know I 
never like to be beaten. Let me go, 
please." 

" I thought you would, Jerusha," he said, 
with a sort of grim smile. " I know you, 
my dear, and your little tempers. I will 
release you when you have told me how 
soon we shall be married. I have made 



THE miller's daughter. 89 

up my mind, I must make up yours." 

" Is this how people always make love ?" 
she asked, still keeping down her wrath. 
" You are turning me into a handmaid, to 
stand before you." 

** That is scriptural, Jerusha. You know 
woman was born to submit to man. You 
must submit to me." 

Rushy knew that he was noted for his 
obstinacy and tenacity of purpose, and she 
saw that he was resolved to conquer her. 
But she was ready-witted, and said laugh- 
ingly, 

" Well, cousin, I don't know what father 

would say to this sort of offer. I always 
tell him everything, and I am sure he will 
think you very rude." 

"Your father knows I have a good farm 
— thirty milking cows, and as fine a flock o' 
sheep as any man in the county. He knows 
my character too, and that I am a righteous 



90 THE miller's daughter. 

man; and, Jerusha !" — in a whisper — "I am 
like to bte Aunt Martha's heir when you are 
my wife, for she's uncommon fond of you." 

"I see," returned Jerusha; "and then 
the gig and horse, cousin ! A girl would 
have you if it was only for your wealth." 

Here she overstepped her mark. Solo- 
mon had no notion of being married for his 
money, though he believed any girl would 
accept him on whom he fixed his desire. 
His relaxing grasp tightened at the sugges- 
tion, and he frowned ominously. 

" But I wouldn't have any girl," he said ; 
"I've loved you, Jerusha, ever since you 
were a child. I've waited till you were 
twenty, and a good housekeeper. Twenty's 
a sensible, marriageable age. There's no- 
thing you can't do of woman's work, and 
there's nothing I can't do of man's ; so let's 
strike the bargain, and I'll have the banns 
called." 



THE miller's daughter. 91 

Jerusha could scarcely help laughing, iu 
spite of her annoyance, and her change of 
countenance appeared a good omen to Solo- 
mon. But she was grave again instantly, 
and surprised him by her quiet, resolute 
manner. 

" You will not gain your ends by holding 
my hands till you hurt me," she said. " I do 
not like to expose you, but if you do not 
let them go I will scream the house 
down." 

'*That would make no difference, my 
dear. You will be my wife all the same^ 
for haven't I made up my mind ?" 

But Jerusha put her threat into execu- 
tion, and called loudly for Tilly, who, 
much to her surprise, answered her sum- 
mons. 

" Lawk-a-massy, what be the matter, 
miss?" she cried, just peeping in at first, 
then retreating with a grin. "They be a 



92 THE milleb's daughteb. 

courtin', they be. Mr. Solomon a' got hold 
o' her." 

** Tilly, come in !" shouted Jerusha, and 
she entered, holding her hands before her 
mouth. 

Of course Solomon released Jerusha. 

"You be to go to zupper to Miss 
Martha's," said Tilly, composing her inflated 
features. "I be a come huome, miss, vor 
you to go." 

But Jerusha was out of hearing before 
Tilly's speech was ended. She ran away 
from her lover, who, nothing daunted, 
turned to Tilly with — 

" I will accompany her, Matilda. I have 
made up my mind to — marry her. You 
saw how it was ?" 

"J zee you was a-courtin', zur," said 
Tilly, with a curtsey, for Mr. Solomon Has- 
luck was a great man in his way. " Til tell 
Miss Bushy as you be a-waitin'. Hem be 



THE miller's daughter. 93 

too old for hern/' she muttered, as she re- 
traced her steps to her kitchen. " But hem 
be zo rich." 

Solomon was left alone. He was as un- 
accustomed to " coortin " as Jerusha herself, 
and thought all girls made resistance to a 
first offer, and all men must overcome it. 
Although angry, he was not disheartened, 
but waited patiently for * Jerusha's return. 

'^Tve always heard that the women must 
be subdued," he meditated. "I did it. 
She was restive at first, as a young filly, then 
she kicked, then she came to, and at last 
she was quite pleasant-tempered. I know 
I've got Mark on my side, and I know how 
to keep him." 

Mr. Hasluck put his hands in his pockets, 
and walked first to the front, then to the 
back window. 

''A pretty mill, and a nice bit o' pro* 
perty," he thought, still expecting Jerusha. 



^4 THE miiLEE's DAUGHTEB. 

But she did not come. He waited a 
while, and then sought Tilly in her back 
kitchen, who was preparing for a large 
wash on the morrow. 

" Will you tell Miss Gay I'm waiting to 
go with her," he said. 

*' She be a-gone out, zur. I zee her run 
droo th' orchard, " replied Tilly, with a 
significant wink. 

Solomon's face lengthened, but he never- 
theless strode through the said orchard after 
Jerusha. He was not a man to be dis- 
heartened, having, by a sort of dogged per- 
severance, managed, as he said, generally to 
succeed in his undertakings. When he 
alluded to Mark in his soliloquy, he did so 
advisedly. He had lent that incautious 
young man money from time to time, and 
was not entirely ignorant of his practices. 
He was aware of Jerusha's love for her bro- 
ther, and was astute enough to know that this 



THE milleb's daughteb. 95 

love would give him a power over her. There 
was no doubt of his attachment to her, but 
it was, like many other such, selfish. He 
was resolved to have her, and did not 
speculate on her affections, believing, as he 
said, that ** woman was made for man." 
That Jerusha should have withstood him, 
and was now evading him, rather served to 
stimulate him, and he began the siege on 
which he was resolved, by pursuing her. 
He had not much doubt of overtaking her, 
for his legs were long, and he was a steady 
walker ; although he always kept an even 
pace, he could outwalk most of his com- 
peers, boasting that "he never hurried; 
'twas the steady mare that worked best." 
So he had no doubt of overtaking Jerusha, 
who would probably run till she was out of 
breath. 



96 



CHAPTER VI. 

MARK AT THE CAVE AGAIN. 

TITISS MARTHA and her friends waited 
-^^^ supper for Jerusha, but she did not 
arrive. The villa was crowded with the 
kindly helpers who had gallantly laboured 
until the hay was saved, and parlour and 
kitchen were equally occupied. All the 
good cheer the hospitable mistress of the 
small mansion could produce was spread on 
the various tables, and while farm-people 
and fishermen ate and drank in the comfort- 
able kitchens, our friends did honour to the 
feast in the dining-parlour. Miss Martha 
sat at the head of the table, the miller at 



THE miller's daughter. 97 

the bottom, Mark and Janey on one side, 
Captain Bowles on the other. A seat was 
reserved for Jerusha near the Captain, and 
all wondered that it was not occupied, since 
Tilly had volunteered to take her young 
mistress's place at home more than an hour 
before. 

" I daresay she won't come. She is such 
a stay-at-home," said Miss Martha. " Cousin 
Gay, will you say grace ?" 

The miller did so, reverently adding a 
short thanksgiving that food had been 
graciously prepared and saved that day 
for beast as well as man. He was reputed 
quaint by some, because he brought religion 
to bear upon every-day life, and was not 
afraid to give God the glory by lip as 
well as heart. Many good Christians are 
nervous in this sacred duty — not so miller 
Gay. 

"I just returned home in time," said 

VOL. I. H 



98 THB miller's daughter. 

Captain Bowles. " I like to share the sup- 
per if I don't share the work." 

"No song, no supper," returned Miss 
Martha, who was standing to carve a leg of 
pork. 

Captain Bowles was a round-faced, sun- 
burnt, elderly man, of jovial countenance. 
He had a pretty cottage in the village of 
WooUeysheepfold, which he had occupied 
some years. That he had been at sea all 
his life was evident, though no one knew 
anything of his previous history, and no 
one prosecuted inquiries after his first year 
of probation. He and the miller made 
acquaintance ; and it was by his advice that 
Mark had gone several voyages in the mer- 
chant service after he left school at Sand- 
port. Captain Bowles's notion was that a 
sea life would cure Mark's fancy for sea- 
faring, but the result proved the contrary ; 
the love of roving increased rather than 



THE miller's daughteb. 99 

diminished. The Captain was an avowed 
admirer of Miss Martha, who took all the 
jokes poked at her on his account in good 
part, and gave him a hearty welcome when- 
ever he paid her a visit. ^ Indeed, he was 
welcomed everywhere, for he had a genial 
manner, liked society, and was a great 
gossip. He was very fond of Mark and 
Jerusha, and was quite at home both at the 
mill and the villa. If by chance he was 
heard to sigh, it was, he said, because he 
had no young people belonging to him. 
He looked almost enviously at Mark and 
Janey as they sat side by side, appearing 
very much as if some understanding had 
been arrived at between them, during the 
dangerous occupation of making hay to- 
gether and giving and receiving that time- 
honoured " green gown." The miller, also, 
observed with complacency that Mark was 
unusually polite to Janey — for as a rule 

h2 



V 



100 THE miller's daughter. 

Mark did not care for young ladies — and he 
began to consider that, although Janey had 
been to boarding-school, and had been 
delicately brought up, she might be the 
means of steadying Mark, if he fancied her. 
The good miller would have given his con- 
sent to Mark's marriage with any respectable 
girl, if it should keep him at home; and 
was not Janey Miss Martha's niece ? 

But Mark, even while politely waiting on 
Janey, was restless and absent, and con- 
stantly looked out of the window on the 
June night. Although the storm had kept 
off during the daj^, it was evidently approach- 
ing, and the sea began to rage tempestu- 
ously beneath the cloudy sky. A few 
streaks of blood-red sunset appeared and 
disappeared at intervals on the distant 
horizon, and the moon strove vainly to cast 
off her thick veil, and to pierce through the 
vapours that hung over land and sea. The 



THE miller's daughter. 101 

air was sultry, and scarcely a breeze pene- 
trated the open window, so that delicate 
Janey looked even paler and more fragile 
than usual. 

"Thee hast done a good day's work, 
Janey," said the miller. "Never saw a 
better one to rake, Miss Martha. Why, she 
kept close to Mark all the time." 

" 'Tis the first good day's work she ever 
did in her life then," returned her aunt, 
"and she has to thank Mark for it, Til 
warrant. He did the work of two." 

" Fair play. Cousin Martha," cried Mark. 
" How can you tell when you were idling 
at home with the Captain? You and he 
haven't earned your supper." 

The tables were turned, and blushing 
Janey looked gratefully at Mark. But Miss 
Martha was impervious to the general laugh, 
joining in it herself. 

"Idling, indeed I I should think so, my 



102 THE miller'« daughter. 

lad. People who have made their fortunes 
and retired have no pity on the poor. Here 
comes the cap'en at four o'clock this blessed 
afternoon, and hinders a hard-working wo-» 
man like me, who has to get her living. 
Wants tea, if you please, and nobody but me 
at home to set it !" 

" Why, you scarce came a-nigh me, Miss 
Martha," said Captain Bowles, in an ag- 
grieved voice. " I read the Sandport Chron- 
icle twice through." 

"Then you saw the account of Miss 
Hunt's wedding!" broke in Janey, viva- 
ciously. 

" Read it twice. Shall have much pleas- 
ure in reading yours twice," replied the 
Captain, with a meaning glance, which 
caused poor Janey to stoop down and stroke 
a cat which was clawing her dress, and 
mewing under his voice. 

''Is that Tim?" shouted Miss Martha, 



THE miller's daughter. 103 

catching sight of the cat. "Now, Janey, 
you'll spoil him if you encourage him in- 
doors. What do you think, Cousin Gay, I 
found out about Tim ? I used to see him 
carrying dead mice in his mouth, and leav- 
ing 'em ; so I watched him. He's a capital 
mouser, and takes pleasure in his work — • 
doesn't play over it, and torment the poor 
vermin, but kills 'em and has done with it. 
Well, as soon as he had killed one, he 
carried it off, and came back to the barn for 
another, and so on. While he was on the 
hunt, I went to his haunt, and there, under 
a heap of straw, I found a store of dead 
mice that Tim had stowed away against a time 
of need. Now, what do you say to that?" 

" A wonderful cat, but cruel and greedy," 
said the miller« 

" I call him provident, and hold him up 
as an example. Animals have twice the 
nous we have." 



104 THE miller's daughter. 

As Miss Martha pronounced this opinion 
the door opened, and Mr. Solomon Hasluck 
entered. He looked well round the room, 
then said, slowly, 

" I thought Jerusha was here." 

*' No, she isn't," said Miss Martha, tartly. 
*' And who sent for you, I wonder? You're 
never ready when you're wanted, but al- 
ways a day too late. You don't care if my 
hay's ruined, but I'll be bound you've saved 
your own." 

*' I have, Aunt Martha. Yesterday, pro- 
videntially, I made it while the sun shone. 
He, he ! But where's Jerusha ? Matilda 
came to invite her to supper." 

This was said even more slowly than 
usual. 

" Ho I you're after her, then. Have you 
caught her ? Ill be bound she's run away 
from you," said Miss Martha. 

" Well," began Solomon, and paused, re- 



THE miller's daughter. 105 

inembering that he had caught her, liter- 
ally, if not figuratively, " I found her sew- 
ing. She left me. I waited to bring her 
going, as I bethought me she was coming 
here. But she didn't return. I asked 
Matilda, who said she was gone. Then I 
— I came here to seek her." 

*' Much obliged ! Complimentary to your 
aunt," said Miss Martha, affectionately re- 
joicing in her nephew's evident confusion. 

"Made a slip for once, Sol," laughed 
Mark. ''But what can have become of 
Rushy? I know she was longing to be 
with the rest of us, though she didn't say 
so. She never thinks much about herself." 

" Maybe she has gone to the beach/' re- 
marked the miller. "She often does 
when the labour's done. Sometimes she 
forgets, and wanders far, for she loves the 
works of the Lord, and His sea in especial. 
Go and look after her, Mark. Up Golden 



106 THE miller's daughter. 

Cap and down by the path to the beach ; 
through the orchard. That's her way. 
There's a storm coming on, so make thee 
haste, lad." 

Mark jumped up with alacrity, heedless 
of Janey's wistful glance. He assured Miss 
Martha that he had made a good supper, 
having been eating while she was discussing 
Tim's merits; whispered to Janey that he 
hoped to see her on the morrow, and was 
gone, even while his father was saying, 
" Mark, lad, thee hasn't said thy grace." 

He ran full speed down the lawn, fol- 
lowed by Janey's eyes, though nearly hid- 
den from them by sea-mist rising from 
below ; startled Dandy, not yet stabled for 
the night, and caused that wary animal to 
follow him to the gate, in the hope to 
escape to wider fields and carrots ; dashed 
down the path to the village, past the boats, 
by the net-house, and finally reached the 



. THE miller's daughteb. 107 

beach. But he did not obey his father. 
He did not go to the mill, or through the 
orchard, or up Golden Cap. He did not 
go in search of Jerusha. 

He went, as may be surmised, in the 
direction of Hollow Cove, and, although he 
little suspected it, that was the way his 
sister had also taken. 

When Jerusha left Solomon, she put on 
her sun-bonnet, and went to the orchard 
near the house. She did not, however, 

ft 

take her customary path to the beach, 
but, to avoid being followed, pursued a 
longer road across the cliffs. She was so 
much excited and annoyed by her late 
interview with Solomon Hasluck that she 
hurried on, heedless that there was a storm 
brewing. She finally reached Sea Gull's 
Nest, the abode of Chivers, and walked to 
the beach by the rough road up which 
Chivers went when he parted from Mark. 



108 THE miller's daughter. 

She sat down on a large boulder, beneath a 
projecting rock, and began to breathe freely 
— that is to say, as freely as the sultry air 
would let her. Then she untied the strings 
of the sun-bonnet, and went off, as she 
sometimes did, into a conversation with the 
sea. Laughter mingled with indignant 
tears as she made her protest to that some- 
what dark, sullen, leaden element, for, it 
must be remembered, the storm was coming 
on. 

" If 1 loved him ever so much — which 
I do not — I would not marry him. To 
catch me and hold me in that rude way I 
And he so sage and sober that one would 
think him a parson I Mr. Worthington and 
Mr. Manners are not half so solemn. As 
if I cared for Miss Martha's property! I 
love her dearly, and wish, with all my 
heart, she would never die ; but as for 
Solomon, I see now that Mark is right, and 



THE miller's daughter. 109 

he is the most disagreeable man in the 
world." Here she paused, laughed, and 
wiped her eyes. " But he knew no better, 
poor fellow ; how should he T she continued, 
remembering his appearance as he held her 
hands, and laughing outright. *' I believe 
he was sincere when he said he had set 
his heart on me ever since I was born. I 
wonder what sort of a heart it is ? Like 
an oyster within two shells, very hard to 
open, and a very queer fish when opened. 
I am sure I hope he will shut it up again, 
as far as I am concerned. I hate oyster^ 
and wonder how people can eat them." 

This idea stayed Jerusha's rapid speech, 
and caused her to reflect. She had a 
certain originality of imagination, and great 
tenderness for all things, and this comparison 
between the tenacity and consequent after- 
sufferings of the oyster, and the well-encased 
obstinacy of her lover's heart, puzzled her. 



110 THE IOLLEB's DAUQHTEB. 

"If the one suffers I suppose the other 
may," she said, again aloud. " One must not 
be cruel, and perhaps Cousin Solomon's heart, 
now it has opened, may suffer as great a 
wrench as the oyster. But he had no right 
to be rude, and I hope he will stick to his 
rock in future. All the same I shall tell 
father." 

Just as she came to this commendable 
resolution a few drops of rain fell, and she 
became suddenly conscious of a sea-mist, so 
she rose with the intention of retracing her 
steps homeward. She stood a few minutes 
under her protecting rock while she fastened 
her bonnet-strings, and during the brief 
space so occupied she saw a man come down 
the path she had taken, and run along the 
beach, in the contrary direction from the 
spot where she stood. She felt sure it was 
Mark, and called after him, but he did not 
hearken. He knew that boats were waiting 



THE miller's daughter. Ill 

to carry oif smuggled goods from the cave, 
and that he must be there to superintend 
the men. 

" Where can he be going ? Shall I follow 
him and see what takes him away so late 
every night ?" thought Jerusha, as she look- 
ed after him, and stood hesitating, while the 
5torm broke overhead. 



112 



CHAPTER VII. 

MISS MARTHA OFFENDED. 

TERUSHA remained a few moments be- 
^ neath her sheltering rock, watching 
her brother's vanishing figure, and hesitating. 
Should she pursue him, and so discover 
what took him from home so late, or should 
she return to the mill ? It seemed as if 
duty led her both ways ; but her clear 
decisive mind soon came to the conclusion 
that her father was her first object, her 
brother second ; and she knew that the one 
would be uneasy till he saw her safe out of 
the storm, while the other would be angered 
by her pursuing him. She accordingly re- 



THE miller's daughter. 113 

traced her way over the cliffs. This was a 
much more dangerous proceeding than her 
previous walk, for the mist thickened, and 
the rain fell heavily. She began to reproach 
herself for evading Solomon and Miss 
Martha's summons, and to accuse herself of 
cowardice for having avoided him. 

*' Stupid man, it's all his fault — so old 
too !" she muttered, as the storm increased. 

She breasted it, however, and managed 
to reach the mill without other harm than a 
wetting. She was, indeed, wet through, 
and the hour was late when she got home. 
Her father and Tilly were anxiously consult- 
ing as to whom they should send with cloak 
and umbrella to meet her, since Levi was 
not at hand, when she entered the house. 

"Thank God, my little maid, you are 
safe back I But what a drowned rat you 
are ! Where's Mark ? I sent him to search 
for thee," said Mr, Gay. 

VOL. I. I 



114 THE miller's daughter. 

" I think he passed and missed me, father. 
'Tis a terrible night, and I hope he'll be in 
soon," she replied. " How kind of you to 
think of me !" 

She ran upstairs for dry clothing, follow- 
ed by Tilly, who was much more wrathful 
than the miller, and who gave her young 
mistress a sound scolding. 

" I be zure as I wouldn't a-cum whom 
vrom the zupper if I'd a-knowed you'd a- 
stopped away too," she said, while busying 
herself to pick up the soaked habiliments. 
" Vor zure an' zertain you'll catch cold, and 
then you'll have another vever, and measter 
'11 be out o' hem's mind, hem wuU. You 
bean't agwain down again, Miss Rushy !" 

" I certainly am, for brother isn't in," re- 
plied resolute Rushy. 

She was soon with her father, discussing 
the events of the day. He asked her why 
she had not gone to Miss Martha's^ and she, 



THE miller's daughter. 115 

with perfect frankness and confidence, re- 
counted to him her interview with Solomon. 
During the relation her cheeks, already 
rose-red with the rain and wind, became 
still redder, and she alternately laughed and 
grew angry, as she recalled the scene and 
conversation. She had ever been in the 
habit of confiding all her secrets to her 
father, whose trustful, honest heart was al- 
most womanly in its tenderness and sym- 
pathy ; and now he listened with unusual 
interest and attention. He frowned, how- 
ever, as she proceeded, and looked much 
displeased. She saw it, and tried to soften 
her narration. 

"Come here, my little maid," he said. 
*^ Be thee sure Cousin Solomon held thee 
fast, and thee alone in the house ?" 

" He just held my hands so, father," re- 
plied Jerusha, taking the miller's hands 
playfully, and imitating her own previous 

i2 



116 THE miller's daughter. 

efforts to free herself from her captor. " I 
was, perhaps, wrong to run away." 

"Then he isn't the gentlenaan he thinks 
himself, but a bit of a bear at love-making," 
said the miller, half amused, half annoyed, 
and drawing his daughter towards him» 
'' Come into thy cubby-house, and tell 
me if there is any hope for Cousin Solo- 
mon." 

Jerusha seated herself, child-fashion, on 
her father's knee, and put her arm round 
his neck, exclaiming, 

" Hope, father ! He's nearly as old a& 
you, and much uglier, and stupid as an owl. 
I'd rather be an old maid — indeed, I mean 
to be an old maid — and live here always 
with you. I have never seen anyone sa 
nice as you, and never, never shall." 

" But Cousin Solomon is well-to-do, and 
as sober and pious a man as there is in the 
country. He may not know how to make 






THE miller's DAUGHTEK. 117 

love ; but he'd be a good husband all the 
same," said the miller, reflectively. 

"Then I wish him a good wife, but it 
won't be me," said Rushy, with a toss of her 
head. 

'* Just as my little maid likes. I don't 
want to lose thee," returned the miller, kiss- 
ing the red rose of a cheek that nestled near 
him. " But my Rushy's hard to please. 
Hast never seen anybody to thy fancy ?" 

'* No — yes," replied Rushy, candidly. '' I 
saw a young man this very day, so hand- 
some and so polite that I wish he would 
come again. No ; you couldn't guess him 
if you were to try to-day and to-morrow. 
He's a stranger." 

Then Rushy told how she had given 
bread and cheese to the wayfarer, and how 
he had taken off his hat, and what superior 
manners he had, while her father smiled, 
pinched her round cheeks, and said it was 



118 THE miller's daughter. 

no wonder Cousin Solomon had so poor a 
chance, since she had just parted with so 
grand a gentleman. 

While they were thus discoursing Mark 
came home, wet through, as Rushy had 
been. He was resolved to avoid questions 
by taking the initiative himself. 

" Here you are then, after all, Miss Rushy. 
Where in the world do you go when you 
take your walks abroad ? You're as dry as 
a flail, and I daresay haven't been a hundred 
yards from Beachton." 

'*But I have, though, and I saw you at 
Seagull's Nest. Did you think to find me 
beyond there at high tide ? I have more 
sense than some people, and when you are 
sent to look for me again don't go so far. 
I wonder you are safe at home at all." 

To Mark's conscience Jerusha's words 
carried more meaning than they intended, 
for she believed that he had gone after her. 



THE miller's daughter. 119 

but had, as he often did in his heedlessness, 
overlooked what he sought. 

''"You are foolhardy enough to go any- 
where," he muttered sullenly; *'and these 
are the thanks one receives for getting 
drenched." 

"I am more than obliged to ybu, 
brother," cried Rushy, jumping up, and lay- 
ing her hand on his shoulder. *' If you 
really got so wet for me it was very good 
of you, and I will make you a posset at 
once." 

*' There, there ! let us thank God that we 
are all safe at home this blusterous night, 
and that Miss Martha has saved her hay, 
and that we have a bed to lie upon, and a 
house over our heads, as many a poor sailor 
hasn't," said the miller. 

Mark was trying to persuade himself, as 
well as his friends, that he had exposed 
himself in search of Jerusha; and they, 



120 THE miller's daughter. 

quite willing to believe him, hurried him off 
to bed. The miller parted from him with 
his usual blessing, and a hope that the 
charms and dangers of the weaker sex 
might never again keep him up so late; 
while Jerusha, who had been watching him 
narrowly, feared, from his averted eyes, 
that there was something amiss. 

" Will you say a little prayer for him, 
father ?" she said. 

"God bless thee, lass, for the thought," 
he replied, and they knelt down and prayed 
for Mark while the winds raged and the 
rain fell. . 

The following day Jerusha went to make 
her excuses to Miss Martha, who received 
her and them with her usual loquacious 
penetration and amusement. 

"I know all about it, Rushy," she ex- 
claimed, at the top of her voice, while her 
maidens stood still to listen. "The men 



THE miller's daughter. 121 

are at the bottom of all the mischief. 
They're like the monkeys, and try to make 
catspaws of us. But I was never befooled 
into pulling out their chestnuts, and never 
will be, so long as I'm in my senses, and 
you'd better follow my example. Yesterday 
there was that mysterious Cap'en Bowles 
hindering me. If he thinks he'll catch me 
and my stock and crop he's mistaken. Then 
Solomon hindered you. Now don't deny 
it, you little prude ; you ran away from him. 
I saw it in his face. He looked like Tim 
when he comes prowling about after Tit 
and she's shut up in the cupboard, the born 
thief!" 

Here Miss Martha, from the passage, saw 
one handmaid leaning on her broom, another 
arrested in her scrubbing of her milk-pails. 
Her voice rose to the " Boreas pitch," as 
Captain Bowles once confidingly expressed 
it to the miller, and she reproved them 
stoutly. 



1 22 THE miller's daughter. 

"Well, Glow-basons, did'ee never hear 
anyone talk before? One would think 
you'd been born deaf and dumb, and 
had speech and hearing restored by a 
miracle." 

Then, she went into the parlour, and, for 
a wonder, shut the door. 

" Men are fools, and women idiots," she 
resumed. " I say, Rushy, what was the 
matter with Solomon ? — he had lost his 
appetite, and I never saw him fail to eat 
enough for two before. He did nothing 
but say grace to himself, yet never swallow- 
ed a mouthful. Don't you throw away that 
fine chance ; make hay while the sun shines. 
Marry when you're asked. It's my opinion 
that every woman should be obliged by law 
to marry the first man that asks her. There 
would be just as many happy matches, and 
a deal less bother than there is now with all 
the fools." 



THE miller's daughter. 123- 

" Why didn't you set the example, Miss 
Martha?" asked Rushy, demurely. 

"Because nobody asked me, of course,'' 
was the reply. 

**Then you're bound to have Captain 
Bowles when he oifers, if he should be the 
first. Wish you joy, Miss Martha," said 
Rushy, with a curtsey. 

"You're an impudent minx, Rushy. See 
what I've got for you, provided you don't 
refuse my nevvy, Solomon," 

Miss Martha went to a drawer beneath 
the glass bookcase, and drew forth the silk 
dress on which Rushy had set her heart 
when the pedlar and his pack were at the 
mill. 

" There, Rushy, that's for you, and you 
are not to refuse Solomon Hasluck, because 
I want you for my niece," she said, letting 
her hand fall heavily on the silk. 

'^ How kind you are. Miss Martha," said 



124 THE miller's daughter. 

Rushy, hesitating, and keeping at a distance 
from the table on which it lay. 

"I bought another for Janey — a grey 
one, with a red flower, to suit her milk- 
and-water complexion. Where is she, I 
wonder? After Mark, I'll warrant. But 

this, with the pink stripe Bless the 

lass ! why d'ye stand like a gawky in the 
middle of the room, as if you had never 
seen a piece of silk in your life ? You look 
like a mooncalf." 

" I am very much obliged to you, Miss 
Martha, but I must not have that silk 
gown," said Rushy, approaching the table 
slowly. 

"Hoity toity ! what next? And what 
new bee have you got in 5^our bonnet? 
Dainty, I suppose, like Dandy, when he 
sniffs and flings at good hay because he 
wants fresh grass," said Miss Martha, anger- 
ed, and pushing the silk from her. 



THE miller's daughter. 3 25 

*'No, indeed, it is the prettiest silk I 
ever saw, and I should like it dearly. But 
perhaps you do not know that it is smug- 
gled, and father would not let me buy it 
when the pedlar brought it to our house the 
other evening," returned Rushy. 

" He's an old — an old gander !" shouted 
Miss Martha. " Here's a piece of goods at 
a fair price instead of double its value, and 
because the revenue hasn't gobbled up the 
best half, for it's no better than a turkey- 
cock with its blustering big tail — ^your old 
idiot " 

"I shall not stand by and hear father 
called a gander and an old idiot. Miss Mar- 
tha," said spirited Jerusha, ''He upholds 
our young Queen and what is right accord- 
ing to the Gospels, and so do I. You were 
very good to buy me such a handsome pre- 
sent, but as father objected to it before, I — 
I cannot accept it. Perhaps you don't 



126 THE miller's daughter. 

mean that he's a — a gander and idiot?" 
" But I do mean it ; I am not in the habit 
of saying what I don't mean !" cried Miss 
Martha, whose temper was roused as well 
as Jerusha's. 

"Then good afternoon, Miss Martha," 
said Jerusha, stiffly, with a little curtsey and 
a very red face ; and off she went through 
the flowery porch to the lawn, where Dandy 
trotted, whinnying, up to her. 

For the first time during the pony's brief 
life she passed him by without salutation. 
She felt how much her temper must be 
roused, but she could not calm it in a 
minute, even for speech with Dandy. When 
he followed her to the gate, and she shut it 
in his nose, she knew that the temper was 
very bad indeed ; still she had not mental 
resolution enough at the moment to turn 
and smooth either Dandy's coat or Miss 
Martha's ruffled mood. Lack of courage or 



THE miller's daughter. 127 

inclination to put down anger at the first 
rising often causes unexpected feuds; and 
she was well aware that Miss Martha's 
temper was of the hottest, and was wont to 
increase in flame if not quickly extinguished. 
Still she did not put it out. 

"Father a gander and an idiot, and be- 
cause he does what is right !" she muttered, 
as she ran as if her feet were winged across 
the bridge and up the slope. 

The miller met her at the door. 

*' Solomon has been here, and I have 
mortally offended him," he said. *'I told 
him that he had been rude to my little maid, 
and he denied it. He said he was only 
courting you, and meant to have you. 
' There are two to that bargain, and may be 
three,' said I. * And you and Jerusha may 
make a worse one ; but I won't give her 
up,' said he. He walked off as stiff as 
a steeple, and with a face a'most as hard, 



128 THE miller's daughter. 

muttering something about the obstinacy of 
women." 

" I am glad you spoke out, father/' said 
Jerusha. "Some people think they can 
say and do anything." 



129 



CHAPTER VIII. 

A YOUNG COASTGUARDSMAN. 

ON the appointed Saturday Mark went 
to Sandport to meet Captain Danger- 
field. He made a great point of attending 
the market instead of his father on that oc- 
casion, in order to avoid supervision or col- 
lision. He hastily transacted such business 
as he had to do for his father with the 
farmers who attended the market, and then 
proceeded to the pier. On his way he was 
met by Mr. Solomon Hasluck, whom he 
had not seen since the night of Miss Martha's 
supper-party, and whom he would gladly 
have avoided. 

VOL. I. K 



130 THE miller's daughtbb. 

" I have just met Captain Dangerfield,** 
began Solomon. *' He tells me that he is 
to spend to-morrow with you. Let him 
have nothing to say to Jerusha, for I have 
made up my mind about her. Look you, 
Mark, if you want another hundred or so at 
a fair interest, I can lend it ; I've asked 
Dangerfield to look in upon me. Come 
and meet him." 

" Thank 5^ou, Solomon, I will ; then we 
can settle about the loan, and talk matters 
over." 

Good-looking Mark walked down the 
pier with a careless air, while Solomon 
looked after him, shaking his h6ad, and 
muttering, " I wonder what they're after 
now. No good, I'll warrant." 

Dangerfield was on the look-out for 
Mark, and joined him at once. They went 
together to a small inn close to the pier, 
called '* The Jolly Tars," where they pro- 



THE miller's DAUGHTEB. 131 

ceeded to a private room to discuss their 
business over certain stimulants that were 
always more dangerous for Mark than 
Dangerfield, the one having a weak, the 
other a steady head. 

" We have nearly cleared the cave, and 
the goods have gone off to all quarters/' 
cried Mark, exultant. "We shall be 
ready for another ship-load directly. The 
men have worked like wire-drawers." 

*'We must have money to buy it, and 
respectable men aboard the Sea Serpent,'^ 
returned Dangerfield. " There's a revenue 
cutter off the point, casting sheep's eyes upon 
my sailors. Will solemn Solomon come 
down with another hundred or so, and will 
you come with me for another cruise ? Try 
this hoUands." 

Mark's countenance fell. He was just 
settling down at home, and thinking with 
some steadiness of Janey. He was quite 

e2 






132 THE millke's daughter. 

ready to manage the smuggling business on 
shore, but at the moment he did not see 
his way to go to sea, much as he loved the 
riotous, exciting, dangerous life. 

" Think it over by to-morrow," said Dan- 
gerfield, eyeing him cautiously. "I shall 
put on my best toggery, and be ready to 
escort the pretty sister to church. Monday 
we must be off again, so you've a day to 
prepare. There are lots of men to hide 
goods, but not enough to find 'em. Those 
who win must risk." 

'^ Father won't hear of it," said Mark. 

*' Then keep out of his hearing, my lamb. 
Don't bleat, but trot off on the sly. We'll 
make it up to the old man one of these 
days. You and I are like man and wife, 
partners for life." 

"Sailors and their wives aren't always 
partners for life, captain," said Mark. " If 
it were so, I wonder hoAV many partners 
you'd have." 



THE miller's daughter. 133 

Dangerfield did not seem to like this hit, 
and had some difl&culty in mastering the 
strong language that rose to his lips. But 
he did not wish to offend Mark, so he broke 
out into an awkward laugh instead, which 
gave his face an evil rather than an hilarious 
expression. He took a pocket-book from 
his pocket, opened it, and began to reckon 
up some figures aloud, for Mark's benefit, 
who in turn produced an account-book, the 
contents of which appeared irregularly in- 
serted. Mark had no turn for figures, and, 
in spite of some years at the Sandport 
Grammar-school, was not an able arithme- 
tician. He was too hare-brained for mathe- 
matics, and a sharper could easily have 
convinced him that hundreds were thousands, 
and vice-versd. Thus Dangerfield had it all 
his own way in the explanations that fol- 
lowed the calculation, and led Mark to sup- 
pose that there was a deficit of a hundred 



134 THE miller's daughter. 

or so in his account, which he could doubt- 
less easily make clear when certain moneys 
due on smuggled goods were secured. 
Mark looked puzzled, but had no doubt that 
he could make it clear, and said he would 
ask Levi Tuck and the other men what 
sums had been paid to them. 

The pair sat talking and drinking till eight 
o'clock, by which time Mark had promised 
everything that Dangerfield asked, which 
included many points that might be damag- 
ing to others as well as themselves. Neither 
for a moment believed actual smuggling to 
be wrong, but Mark knew well enough that 
what it entailed might be very wrong in- 
deed, and his conscience pricked him when 
he remembered that he had led more than 
one old friend and dependent into illegal 
trade. 

Instead of returning home by the turn- 
pike road he took the way over the cliffs. 



THE miller's daughter. 135 

Dangerfield accompanied him as far as 
Hollow Cave, which lay midway between 
Sandport and Beachton. Dangerfield, 
having satisfied himself as to the contents 
of the cave, and the secrecy of its site, re- 
traced his steps; while Mark clambered 
down to the beach, with the intention of 
seeing if Chivers and his boat were near. 
The boat, but not Chivers, was there, so 
he climbed up to the cliff path again by 
the rock. 

Just as he was about to reach it his foot 
slipped, and, in striving to regain his balance, 
a stone that he had laid hold of gave way, 
and knocked violently against his side, as 
it rolled down the rocks. He felt a sudden 
pain, but managed to scramble to the sum- 
mit, when he became conscious that he had 
either sprained or broken his hip. The sud- 
den agony was so great, when he tried to 
walk, that he was obliged to lean against a 



136 THE miller's daughtee. 

rough fence that crossed the downs at that 
point, to support himself. He called aloud 
to Dangerfield, but lie was out of sight and 
hearing in the opposite direction. While 
essaying to cross the fence, the pain was so 
acute that he felt obliged to sit down on the 
stepping-stone placed to aid the wayfarer 
over the rough stile. He looked anxiously 
around for assistance, feeling sure that he 
could not reach home without it. He was 
of a brave nature, and could bear pain as 
well as most, so he made another vain effort, 
and exerted his lungs to call for help ; but 
he could neither go on nor obtain a hearing. 
Not even a sheep-bell tinkled, for the flocks 
were in the fold. " I am here for the night, 
I wish I were in the cave," he said, more 
philosophically than might have been ex- 
pected, and glanced round at the prospect 
before him. 

It was a glorious Summer night. The 



THE miller's daughteb. 137 

crescent moon lay on her back, as it is called, 
with her points towards heaven's arch, her 
half-circle earthward. The Great Bear was 
right overhead, looking down upon Mark, 
as well as on the vast ocean, from his su- 
preme dwelling-place millions of miles away ; 
while the bright and constant guardians of 
the pole-star maintained their changeless 
course, telling him, if he had known how to 
listen, that God's servants must be steady in 
their course, and " always abounding in the 
work of the Lord." But Mark was only 
steady by fits and starts, and could not read 
the lessons of the stars. The fit was on him 
then, and while the planets rolled above, 
the sea boomed below, and the glittering 
night-dews sparkled on the slumbering field, 
he thought of his father and sister at home, 
of pretty Janey who loved him, and of 
Dangerfield who tempted him to evil. 
" I will marry and turn over a new leaf; 



138 THE miller's daughter. 

but how am I to begin if I can't move ?" he 
thought, struggling again, vainly, to be up 
and going. 

While he was yet fretting and resolving, 
the moon travelled away on her appointed 
course, and passed behind the hill that 
flanked the down on which he lay. The 
sky deepened into the opaque, invisible blue 
of night, and the stars grew brighter and 
brighter as the darkness fell over the silent 
earth and whispering ocean. The solemn 
repose of nature seemed to arouse rather 
than lull Mark's conscience, and he almost 
forgot his pain in reflection. 

This frame of mind was broken, however, 
much to his relief, by the sight of the dis- 
tant dark shadow of a human being. He 
shouted aloud, and the shadow moved to- 
wards him along the dewy grass, till the 
figure of a man was visible. 

'* Where are you? What is the matter?" 



THE miller's daughter. 139 

said a voice that was certainly neither a 
smuggler's nor a fisherman's. 

" Here I" cried Mark. " I have broken 
some confounded bone or other, and can't 
move." 

The man came up to him, and tried to 
help him to rise, but he sank back again 
upon his stone. He was too brave to cry 
out, so he merely said he supposed he must 
stay there all night, unless they could fetch 
him from home. 

'* Where do you live?" asked the 
man. 

" At Beachton Mill, a good mile and a 
half from here. But Seagull's Nest is not 
so far. The people who live there would 
help me. I think you must have come 
from the road that leads to it." 

" I know. Some cottages up the ravine," 
returned the man, and before Mark could 
reply he was gone. 



140 THE miller's daughter. 

" He doesn't let the grass grow under his 
feet," said Mark. 

He certainly did not, for ere long, voices 
were heard on the down, and he returned, 
bringing with him Chivers and another man, 
with a boy or two, who carried a couple of 
lanterns. 

"What be the matter, Measter Mark? 
lucky we wasn't a-bed; but we was just 
gwain off to the boatsfor a night haul 
when the gen'leraan met us," said Chivers. 

" Then help me down to the boat, and 
row me round to Beachton," said Mark. 
^' They'll be out of their wits at home, and I 
can't walk." 

" I am going that way, and will call and 
-explain," said the stranger. " But let me 
^ive you a lift first." 

By the light of the stars and lanterns he 
managed to raise Mark, who was slight, and 



THE miller's daughter. 141 

of no great weight, and, with the help of 
the men, to take him in his arms. 

'^ It is my thigh/' said Mark, with an irre- 
pressible groan. 

*• You have a good courage anyhow," said 
the stranger. 

The boys led the way with the lanterns, 
and they carried him with great difficulty 
and many stumbles, along the down that 
, skirted the dangerous cliff-way, to the path 
that led to Hollow Cave. In spite of his 
pain, Mark glanced anxiously towards the 
cave, as if the stranger could see its well- 
hidden entrance in the darkness ; and con- 
science again suggested that the game was 
scarcely worth the risk. 

The boat was ready, and they managed 
to lay Mark in the bottom of it amongst the 
nets, and, as he knew and felt, amongst 
several kegs of spirits that lay beneath the 



142 THE miller's daughter. 

nets, ready for transmission to sundry 
farmers along the coast, Solomon Hasluck 
amongst them. 

The stranger must have struck his foot 
against them, as he placed Mark in the 
boat, but he was not supposed to know 
what they were. Before he left, however, 
he took a good look at the men by lantern- 
light, who were too much occupied with 
Mark and their kegs to think of him. 

" Thank you with all my heart, friend," 
said Mark. "But for you, I should have 
had a nice night of it. Won't you row 
round with us ?" 

" I shall be at Beachton in half the time 
by land," replied the stranger, springing out 
of the boat, and standing to watch while 
Chivers shoved her off and jumped in as 
she bounded up on a wave that came to 
meet her. 

She soon disappeared round the rocky 



THE millee's daughteb. 143 

point, and he remained alone, the beetling 
crags containing the secret cave on one side 
and above him, the road on the cliffs on the 
other, overhead night and her myriad 
watchers. 

He was soon up the cliff, and on his way 
to Beachton. 

While all this was passing, the miller and 
Jerusha were in much anxiety at home. 
Mark's frequent and unaccountable absences 
at night began to alarm them, particularly 
Jerusha, who was more alive to his failings 
than her father, though she loved him none 
the less. He had promised her to return 
straight from market, and she had even 
made Janey stay to tea as a reward ; but 
poor Janey had departed, drooping like a 
May-ball in the rain, and Jerusha was left 
to watch alone; for she had urged her father, 
who was wearied, to go to bed about nine 
o'clock. But old Tempus Fugit struck ten 



144 THE milleb's daughter. 

and eleven while she watched on. Every- 
one save herself was in bed, and she worked, 
read, and prayed as time hastened on. Now 
and again she looked out of door or window 
on the quiet night, and saw the moon glide 
down below the hill. She loved moonlight 
and Nature with an absorbing love, and 
read with delighted interest such books as 
explained to her the wonders of the 
spheres. But to-night she thought only of 
• Mark. 

" This would kill poor Janey," she mur- 
mured, as she went to the door for the 
hundredth time to look for him, just as if 
he would come all the sooner because she 
strained her eyes towards the road that led 
to Sandport. " I hope Miss Martha will 
send her home. Ah, here he is, thank 
God ! Mark, why are you so late ?" she 
said aloud, as she ran through the gate to 
meet him, as she thought. 



THE miller's daughter. 145 

It was not Mark, but his messenger, who 
said quickly, 

** I am not Mark ; he is in a boat on the 
water, and will soon be home. I am come 
to explain." 

"There is something wrong — some acci- 
dent, I am sure 1" cried Jerusha, impulsive- 
ly. "Pray come in, and I will call my 
father ; I daresay Mark has gone off to sea 
aigain — he said as much." 

She returned to the house, followed by 
the stranger, and they both entered the 
hall, where the candle had burnt low beside 
the book she had been reading, so that she 
scarcely distinguished him. 

" I think your friend must have fallen 
and either sprained or broken some limb," 
he said kindly. " I found him on the cliff, 
and at his request called some fishermen, 
who helped him to their boat, and are row- 
ing him home. He seemed well, but un- 

VOL. I. L 



146 THE miller's daughter. 

able to walk, so he asked them to bring 
him back," 

" Wait while I call father," said Jerusha, 
imperatively. " He has gone to bed, but 
will soon be down." 

The stranger waited, and before very long 
Jerusha and her father appeared, each with 
a light. 

"What has really happened to my boy, 
sir?" asked the miller. " I hope he has not 
been drinking." 

" He appeared quite sober, and the acci- 
dent might have happened to anyone ; it is 
not serious," was the reply. 

" Thank you heartily for your kindness, 
sir. I must go to the beach and wake up a 
man or so to help him home. We must call 
Levi, Rushy." 

" Yes, father," replied Jerusha, who was 
looking at the stranger almost as if she re- 
cognised him. 



THE miller's daughter. 147 

" I have only returned a kindness, and 
shall be glad to go with you to the beach," 
he said, catching her eye, and smiling. 

He was the young to man whom she had 
given the milk a few weeks before, but of 
whose identity she had been for a moment 
doubtful, because he now wore the uniform 
of the coastguard. 

When she recognised him, she thought 
how unjust her suspicions of him had been, 
since he was as far removed from a smuggler 
as right from wrong. 

*' I thought we should meet again, but I 
am sorry for the cause," he said ; "at least, 
sorry for your brother's accident, though 
glad to have been on the cliff when he lay 
there helpless. Thank you again for your 
hospitality." 

" And thank you for your help," returned 

Rushy gratefully, and Mr. Gay and the 

young coastguardsman left her for the beach. 

l2 



148 



CHAPTER IX. 

busby's " FANCY MAN." 

"ly TEANWHILE the inmates of Beachton 
-l-'J- Mill were all aroused from slumber 
by Mark's accident. Levi was at once 
despatched on horseback for the doctor, 
feeling troubled in mind lest it should lead 
to the discovery of their proceedings ; and 
the other men followed their master to the 
beach, while Jerusha and Tilly made pre- 
parations at home. 

''May I ask your name, sir?" said the 
miller to his new acquaintance^ as they 
stood awaiting the boat on the edge of the 
waves. 



THE miller's daughter. 149 

"Firman — Frank Firman — a lieutenant 
in the coastguard, lately appointed at 
Muchsand}''," was the reply. '^ I have been 
making acquaintance with the neighbour- 
hood, and begin to know my work. Your 
daughter kindly gave me food the first day 
I set foot in the county, so I have already 
found Beachton out." 

** Ho, ho !" thought the miller, " then this 
is Rushy's ' fancy man.' " 

The boat soon appeared, and it was Lieu- 
tenant Firman who lifted Mark out of it. 
Half the village was astir, for in that small 
community what ajBfected one ajffected all, 
and the family at the mill were greatly 
beloved. But the stir did not reach the 
villa, and Miss Martha and Janey slumbered 
peacefully. 

Mark made as light as he could of the 
accident to his father, but he was in terrible 
pain when they placed him on some sort of 



150 THE miller's daughter. 

litter, and carried him home by a necessarily 
circuitous route. Jerusha met him, and led 
the way at once to his bed-room. 

"Will you carry me? you are so gentle/' 
he whispered to Firman, who had lifted him 
up, with the aid of his father, and they two 
bore him upstairs. 

No sooner was he placed on his bed than 
his nerves gave way, and he fainted. Fir- 
man asked for brandy, and Jerusha said 
they kept no spirits in the house, but she 
had other restoratives. She was, indeed, a 
female doctor before her age, for she had a 
certain cupboard in which she kept various 
medicines, and an M.D. for consultation — 
in other words, a book called " The Family 
Physician," which she carefully studied for 
the good of the poor, there being no medical 
man nearer than Sandport. She left the 
room, and soon returned with a dose smell- 
ing strongly of camphor, which she admin- 



THE miller's daughter. 151 

istered to Mark, and which soon revived 
him. 

" I am better now. How could I be such 
a fool ? Thank you, Rushy. Only a scratch, 
father," were his first words, spoken with 
his natural manner. 

Then, turning to Firman, he was about 
to add more thanks, when he suddenly 
perceived his uniform. He who had helped 
him so opportunely was the natural enemy 
of all smugglers ; and he, Mark Gay, was a 
smuggler, and in league with smugglers. 

Meanwhile, this "natural enemy" was 
supporting him, and watching Jerusha. 
There was no railway between Sandport 
and Beachton, so the doctor did not arrive 
for some little time, and Firman began to 
think he was no longer needed, feeling con- 
vinced that the injury was not serious. He 
accordingly proposed to depart. The miller 
insisted on his taking refreshment first, and 



152 THE miller's daughter. 

accompanied him down stairs, expecting, as 
men generally do, to find everything to 
hand. He was not, as men sometimes are, 
disappointed, for JerUsha had laid breakfast 
while they were on the beach, and her 
handmaid had lighted the hall fire, and 
placed the kettle thereon. While Lieuten- 
ant Firman was protesting that he was in no 
need of food the doctor arrived, and the 
miller took him upstairs to Mark, and sent 
Jerusha down, with an injunction " to give the 
young man breakfast." 

When she entered the hall her first im- 
pulse was to open the back window, and let 
in the dawn and the fresh morning air. 
Therewith came in the twittering of swallows 
in the eaves, the first notes of the black- 
birds and thrushes in the orchard, the 
music of the mill-stream, and the murmur 
of the sea. 

"Do you think he is much injured?" she 



THE MILLJfiB'S DAUGHTER. 153 

asked, as she began to make the tea. 

*^No, I really do not," replied Firman, 
taking up the shining brass kettle which she 
was about to lift, and pouring water into 
her tea-pot. " But the doctor will soon tell 
us. If you will sit down I will give you 
some tea, which you need much more than 
I ; you look very pale." 

"Thank you, I am not tired," returned 
Jerusha, sitting down, and maintaining a 
right she never allowed another to usurp— 
the government of her tea-table. 

In spite of her pallor, the disappearance 
of her dimples, and the startled look of her 
brown eyes, she was very pretty. No one 
could look at Jerusha Gay and not be 
aware of that fact. Firman had known 
many handsome and well-educated women, 
but none had ever struck him as so interest- 
ing as the miller's daughter. When he saw 
her first he had been taken by the smiles 



1 54 THE miller's daughter. 

and dimples, the rosy cheeks, and mirthful 
eyes ; now he was more struck still by the 
softness, tenderness, and tearfulness that 
sisterly love had drawn forth. There was, 
besides, the resolution — her fingers trembled 
so that she could scarcely hold the tea-pot, 
yet, while she took nothing herself, she 
ministered to him. The rosy dawn poured 
in upon her, and flushed the homely room, 
and he thought, with a half sigh, that he 
had never seen a sweeter picture. 

" For your father and brother's sake you 
should take something," he said. ''You 
may have a long nursing, and must keep 
yourself up." 

His kind manner and earnest eyes called 
the dawn to her cheeks, and she hastily 
poured out some tea, and drank it. Then 
she said, with a sort of apology, that she 
would go upstairs and listen. But her 
father came down instead. 



THE miller's daughter. 155 

'^Tm afraid it is a bad job," he said. 
" He has put out the hip-joint and sprained 
his knee. Dr. Walsh says he can be 
mended, but that he will bave to keep 
quiet for some weeks at least. He is going 
to set it, and says I must hold him, though 
Mark laughs at the notion." 

The miller looked very pale. He was 
known far and near as the tenderest- 
hearted man in the country, who, as every- 
body said, '* wouldn't harm a vlea if he was 
so lucky as to catch 'un;" and although 
manly enough as regarded his own pains, 
was weak as a child when other people 
suffered. 

" I will go, dear father/' said Jerusha, 
rising. ** You know they call me Dr. Gay, 
though I know my rank too well to have 
condescended to set a limb." 

She rose as she spoke, forcing a smile, 
and, forgetting Firman's presence, or ig- 
noring it, kissed her father. 



156 THE mh^ler's daughter. 

She was about to leave the room, and the 
miller was striving to detain her, when the 
lieutenant got up quickly, and said, with de- 
cision, that he would help the doctor, for 
he had seen more than one similar case. 
Without waiting for permission, or listening 
to Rushy's resolute protest, who never quite 
liked being interfered with, he ran upstairs. 

''A likely and kindly young man. Rushy," 
said the miller, sinking into a chair, leaning 
his elbows on the table, and stopping his 
ears. " Fm a coward, but I can't bear it." 

" But he's a stranger, father," said Je- 
rusha, laying her hand on his shoulder. ^* I 
would rather be there myself. I dislike 
being meddled with." 

'* Don't leave me, my darling. It kills 
me to see Mark suffer, though he is brave 
as needs be. They are doing it now — I 
feel it in every nerve of my body, and I 
ihave been told that it is a terrible operation." 



THE ]VnLLEB's DAUGHTER. 157* 

" Doubtless it is God's way of dealing with 
him, father," said Jerusha, who had perfect 
faith, undimmed by doubt, in the overruling 
providence of the Most High. " Perhaps 
He has merciful intentions of steadpng bro- 
ther, and keeping him at home, for hia 
heart is still on the sea.'* 

*'I don't gainsay that He knows best. 
Rushy ; but * the spirit is willing, the flesh 
weak.' " 

Jerusha fancied she heard a groan. Her 
heart stopped as she uplifted her eyes, and 
prayed that God would graciously bring her 
brother through. 

Although it seemed hours to the twain, it 
was not very long before Firman returned. 

*^ It is all over ; he bore it like a hero !'' 
he said, cheerfully, holding out his hand in- 
voluntarily to Jerusha, who laid hers in it^ and 
looked into his face with strained, eager eyes. 
" He will do well if he can be kept quiet. 



158 THE miller's daughter. 

You had better go to bed while the doctor 
is with him. Good-bye." 

"Are you going?" exclaimed Jerusha, 
her cheeks flushing. 

''I must. I may get into disgrace for 
this delay ; but I could not act otherwise." 

*' We shall never forget this good turn, 
sir," said the miller, roused to his natural 
manner. "You will look in upon us 
whenever you come this way, and may be 
sure of a hearty welcome. If I or mine can 
ever be of use to you let us know." 

** I will," said Firman, shaking the miller's 
hand heartily, and going out into the deli- 
cious morning air with a backward glance 
at Jerusha. 



159 



CHAPTER X. 



A RESTLESS SABBATH. 



T T was the busiest, most uneasy Sunday 
-*- Jerusha had ever spent. She usually 
walked twice to church, whatever the wea- 
ther, and managed to be there in time for 
an hour's teaching at the Sunday-school, be- 
fore each service. To-day she was unable 
to go at all. Her father kept a neat gig, 
but he never allowed his horses to work on 
Sunday, saying that they needed a day of rest 
even more than man. Dandy was the only 
beast of burden belonging to Beachton that 
laboured on the seventh day, and his labour 



160 the: miller's daughter. 

was light. Besides, he had little to do in 
the week. He . always drew Miss Martha's 
pony-carriage to church, once a day at least, 
for she could not manage the walk twice, 
and she was as regular a church-goer as 
Jerusha. She usually invited Jerusha to 
return with her, and never failed to declare 
that Dandy went twice as fast when that 
damsel was behind him ; for nothing gave 
Rushy greater pleasure than to be allowed 
to take the reins. She had, indeed, a 
natural turn for government. But since the 
episode of the silk dress she had received 
no invitation to drive Dandy, or tenant Miss 
Martha's pony-carriage; and it would be 
difficult to say which of the trio felt the 
most aggrieved by the abstinence. 

*'We will have nothing more to say to 
the pert minx, Dandy,'* said Miss Martha, 
that identical Sunday morning, giving the 
unoffending pony a cut with her whip so 



THE miller's daughter. 16 1 

unusually sharp that he flung her a reproof 
with his heels, which went nigh to break 
the splash-board, and cast out Janey, sitting 
meekly behind. 

But Miss Martha's heart smote her when 
she perceived that the pew belonging to the 
mill was untenanted, and that even the ser- 
vants were absent. She knew that it was 
Martin Gay's custom to have a cold dinner 
on Sunday, so that there should be no 
excuse for non-attendance at God's house, 
and therefore something serious must have 
happened. She scarcely listened to Mr. 
Worthington's sermon, which she declared 
'* was longer and drier than usual," and had 
no patience for the weekly gossip in the old 
churchyard, when her friends thronged 
round her ; for Miss Martha was a personage 
of consideration amongst the inhabitants of 
WooUeysheepfold. 

" Who is that young man, Miss Martha ?'* 

VOL. I. M 



162 THE miller's daughter. 

asked Captain Bowles, who made a point of 
meeting her after church. 

" How should I know ? What are young 
men to me ?" replied Miss Martha, sharply. 

Still she glanced up in the direction 
indicated. 

"A coastguard sm an — I hate "em," she 
said at her loudest, as Lieutenant Firman 
walked quickly down the path. 

He had been passing through the village 
while the bells were chiming, and had 
remained for morning service. 

"Those are strong words, Miss Martha," 
said a voice from behind. 

She turned and encountered Mr. Worth- 
ington, the rector. He was a man much 
beloved and respected by his flock, in spite 
of his sermons, which were often beyond 
their comprehension. The south country 
peasant, half a century ago, was not so well 
informed as now ; but he generally went to 



THE MILLBR*S DAUGHTER. 163 

church, and got as much good from the 
service, and perhaps more, than people do 
from more exciting preaching and praying. 
Mr. Worthington shook hands cordially with 
Miss Martha, and asked what had become 
of the family from the mill. He always 
knew when a member of his congregation 
was absent, and failed not to remark upon 
it. 

Miss Martha said she had been making 
haste home to find out, when the Captain 
stopped- her with a yarn as long as his arm, 
and a question about some young man. As 
if she cared for young men I 

"Who is he, Captain? He has a very 
reverent manner," said Mr. Worthington. 

"A stranger, and a lieutenant in the 
coastguard. I'll find out all about him," 
replied the Captain, whose curiosity was 
insatiable, and who loved gossip as well as 
any old woman in the parish. 

M 2 



164 THE miller's daughter. 

The pony- carriage was waiting, so Cap- 
tain Bowles had no excuse for detaining 
Miss Martha, who whipped up Dandy and 
drove off without returning his parting 
salute. 

The old church was at the end of the 
long, picturesque village, and as Dandy 
galloped furiously through it all the people 
thought he was running away, but no one 
ventured to stop him, knowing Miss Martha's 
ways. 

No sooner did she reach home than she 
and Janey were off to the mill. She forgot 
a resolution she had made never to speak 
to Rushy until she had accepted the silk 
dress, and called her loudly by name as 
soon as she was in the passage. Receiving 
no answer, she walked through the un- 
tenanted hall to the pretty sitting-room 
within. Here she found Captain Danger- 
field, who was occupying himself by examin- 



THE miller's daughter. 165 

ing the valuable old china, which was an 
heirloom in the Gay family. 

*' Martin Gay I Rushy ! Mark ! where on 
earth are you all ?" she was exclaiming, in 
her loudest key, when he came forward 
with the words, " I hear that Mark Gay has 
had an accident, and that his father and 
sister are with him." 

Dangerfield was by birth a gentleman, and 
could be well-mannered enough when he 
chose. Miss Martha also came of a good old 
stock, and had been well-bred, in spite of 
her free speaking ! so the bow and curtsey 
that ensued were quite polite. They had 
never met before, and each glanced in- 
quisitively at the other. Dangerfield's eyes 
passed on to pretty Janey, who was behind 
her aunt, and in a state of anxious excite- 
ment about Mark, while Miss Martha's 
rested on him. She was one of those often 
mistaken people who take likes and dis- 



166 THE miller's daughter. / 

likes at first sight. To use Tilly's familiar 
phrase, she "took again" the captain at 
once. 

" I have not the pleasure of your acquaint* 
ance," she said, with an inward chuckle at 
her own fine speech. "What on earth ha» 
Mark been after now ?" 

" My name is Dangerfield. I saw him 
last night, and he was as well as ever," was 
the reply. 

*' Janey, go and rout up Rushy. Danger-r 
field — ^you are as unlike your father as a 
weasel to a dormouse. Never catch a 
weasel asleep, you know, and if your 
father had woke up oftener 'twould have 
been the better for him. Too much of 
a fine gentleman to manage Dangerfield 
Grange. Is it yours still ? Do you live 
there?" 

" As much as the rats have left me of the 
house is mine, and I live in it when I am 



THE miller's daughteb. 167 

at home, which is seldom. The land is 
gone. May I ask your name ?" 

" Hasluck, Miss Martha Hasluck. Knew 
your mother well, and a good sort of wo- 
man she was ; worth a hundred of your 
father. So are all the women of all the 
men I ever came across for that much. 
Here's one of them. Worth a good many 
of her brother Mark." 

Rushy entered, followed by Janey, who 
had been crying. 

"What's all this about? What has that 
scapegrace been doing now?" asked Miss 
Martha, her heart hardening a little. 

" He slipped as he was coming over the 
cliff last night, and put out his hip-joint," re- 
plied Jerusha. " It is a mercy that he was 
not killed." 

" Then he's tied by the leg for once in 
his life. But is it really serious, Rushy ?" 

** Not if he can be kept quiet, so as not 



168 THE miller's daughter. 

to put the joint out of place again now that 
it is set, Dr. Walsh says ;" then Jerusha 
added, turning to Dangerfield, whom she 
had not met before, "Mark bids me tell 
you. Captain Dangerfield, that he will see 
you this afternoon, though I think him too 
ill to see anyone fresh. He is in great 
pain, and very feverish and excitable. The 
doctor orders perfect quiet." 

*' I will be careful not to excite him. I 
am a qapital nurse, and know all his ways/' 
replied Dangerfield, with a glance that 
seemed to look Jerusha through. 

*' Better come over and dine with me^ 
and come here some other day," suggested 
Miss Martha. 

But Dangerfield declined. He said he 
must see his old chum and comrade before 
he set sail again, and was, besides, anxious 
to have a talk with Mr. Gay, whose acquaint- 
ance he wished to improve. 



THE MILLERS DAUGHTER. 169 

" It must not be for long," said Rushy, 
decidedly, returning an admiring glance 
from Dangerfield by one of somewhat dis- 
pleased penetration. " And father is quite 
upset ; he has not been in bed all night. I 
am afraid he will be unequal to much con- 
versation." 

*'A good strong will there," said Miss 
Martha, with a look at Dangerfield. " You 
can easily get over Mark Gay, but not his 
sister. When are you coming to fetch the 
silk. Rushy ?" 

"Oh, Miss Martha, if only you would 
excuse and forgive me! But you know 
father will not let us have anything to do 
with smuggled goods," said Jerusha. 

"There, you see her, Captain Danger- 
field," cried Miss Martha. "As pretty a 
piece of silk as ever an old woman oflfered 
to a young one, but because it came from 
over the water, and the shark of a revenue 



170 THE miller's daughter. 

don't swallow half of it, she wouldn't accept 
it. Set her up, indeed 1" 

"I daresay she is quite right," said 
Dangerfield, politely. " It is best to be on 
the safe side." 

But Miss Martha saw a bad expression in 
his eye, and made her own comment. 

"I take the side as it comes, safe or 
slippery. No good to lose time picking 
one's way," she said. "Now, Rushy, I'm 
coming to sit up with Mark to-night, and 
you're going to bed. No good to decline. 
I shall be here by eight o'clock." 

"If I could be of any use," whispered 
Janey to Jerusha, while Miss Martha took 
leave of Dangerfield. 

" I will be sure to let you know, dear," 
said Jerusha. 

By the time they were gone, dinner was 
ready, and as Mark made a great point of 
Dangerfield's being hospitably entertained, 



THE miller's daughter. 171 

Mr. Gay and his daughter left him for the 
meal. He was indeed anxious to be alone 
to consider what he had best do and say. 
He had, as yet, had no time for reflection, 
since intense pain and the arrangements 
necessary upon a really serious injury had 
occupied him thoroughly. He was now, 
however, bound, splintered, and motionless 
from waist to foot, and knew that he must 
so continue for some time to come. That 
he already fretted against the chain did not 
make it the less imprisoning. He blamed 
all but himself for the accident — the cavern, 
the rocks, and especially Dangerfield. Still 
he felt powerless to break even a slight 
link of it. He knew that he was in Danger- 
field's hands, and that they were stronger 
than his whole body. But a sleepless night 
and the fever attendant upon his accident 
rendered him incapable of using even such 
judgment as he had. Perhaps, had he been 



172 THE miller's daughter. 

in a calmer frame of mind, he would have 
acknowledged that the great God, in whom 
his father and sister trusted, had listened to 
their prayers, and working, as He often does, 
through an apparent misfortune, was open- 
ing for him a way of escape from evils he 
could not foresee. 

While he was trying to resolve what he 
should say to Dangerfield, the dinner below 
stairs was not as cheerful as the meals at 
the mill usually were. Martin Gay was 
always hospitable, and pressed his guest to 
eat with unfashionable persistence, but his 
mind ran upon his son. He did not know 
that he had been at " The Jolly Tars " the 
previous day, but he felt sure that he must 
have been drinking, and this was a greater 
trouble to him than the accident. He was 
one who feared God rather than man, and 
in his own shortcomings, as well as those of 
his children, it was the All-seeing Eye he 



THE miller's daughter. 173 

dreaded, and not that of any short-sighted 
fellow-mortal. 

"Mark is high-spirited and self-willed, 
and I mav have indulged him too much,'^ 
he said to Captain Dangerfield. "May 
God forgive me if it is my fault, and give 
him wisdom and piety with years ! I am 
thankful to you, Captain, for your kindness 
to him when at sea. I trust to you to per- 
suade him all you can to stop at home now, 
and settle down. He thinks uncommon 
well of you, and a word of advice from you 
would be worth more than many from me." 

Dangerfield attempted to smile an acknow- 
ledgment of this kind speech ; but Jerusha, 
who was watching him, saw the knitted 
brows, and remarked that he did not reply. 

" You will assuredly decline to take him 
another voyage with you, and that will 
settle him," she said, fixing her eyes on 
him. 



174 THE miller's daughter. 

*' He would go with some one else if he 
fancied it," replied Dangerfield, boldly re- 
turning her glance. " But as I am off to- 
morrow, and he is safe in bed, there need 
be no fear. Fll preach any sermon of 
which hi$ sister Jerusha gives the text, 
though I wasn't born a parson." 

" Take the fifth commandment from be- 
ginning to end," said Jerusha, at once. 
*' Father wants him at home, and this is 
the land which *The Lord his God has 
given him.' 

Dangerfield's countenance changed; he 
had not expected so apt a rejoinder, and he 
could not fail to remember that he had been 
himself a disobedient son, and that his own 
inheritance lay waste. But, while he felt 
the rebuke, he admired the rebuker. He, 
as well as Solomon Hasluck, had " made up 
his mind " in more ways than one. 

When Jerusha went up to prepare Mark 



9 » 



THE miller's daughter. 175 

for his visit Mark asked her, as a particular 
favour, to go to church, and prevail on his 
father to accompany her. He wished to be* 
alone in the house with Dangerfield. 

" / shall certainly not leave you, though 
I am sure it would be best for father to go 
to church," she rejoined. 

Accordingly, when she went downstairs 
again, she gave Mark's message, and added 
that there could be no reason why the 
whole household should remain at home, 
since he was not in danger. 

" I will sit with your son," said Danger- 
field. " I meant to go with you to church 
this afternoon, but as it has turned out, 
duty to an old comrade keeps me at home." 

"Not the least necessity," said frank 
Rushy. " Dr. Walsh ordered quiet, and I 
shall only allow you half an hour. I told 
Mark so. Look at Thomas Fudgit, he is 
pointing at half-past two. When he strikes 



176 THE miller's daughter, 

three you leave Mark and I take your place. 
Father, dear, you are just in time for 
church." 

" Ruled by my children you see, Captain,'^ 
said the miller, smiling, while he led the way 
to Mark's room, and Eushy brushed his hat. 

Then he went to church accompanied by 
two or three of his people. 

The interview between Dangerfield and 
Mark was not as smooth as it should have 
been under the circumstances. Dangerfield 
did not believe in broken limbs. When 
one of his own sailors had an accident his 
language was none of the choicest, and 
when left alone with Mark he could ill 
restrain his temper. The Gays had always 
had a high character for honour and 
honesty, and he wanted Mark on board the 
Sea Serpent as a sort of blind. Moreover, 
he wanted the money which this accident 
might prevent his getting. 



THE miller's daughter. 177 

**Tis no fault of mine," said Mark, sullen- 
ly. ''You know I would rather be with 
you than here. If I hadn't gone in your 
service to the cave I shouldn't have been in 
this state. Soloraon will lend you the 
money, and by the time you have another 
cargo to run into Hollow Cove I shall be 
about again. They must be waiting for 
one down about the Grange by this 
time." 

"The coastguard and revenue cutters 
are swarming there, and we must turn the 
wind that blows in their sails," respond- 
ed Dangerfield. *' No suspicion here as yet. 
Double S. knows that the rats that are eat- 
ing up the Grange won't endorse my bond, 
while you have a wealthy father as your 
backbone. I shall send the canting old 
hypocrite to you." 

" Can't you let me alone now I am struck 
down?" asked Mark, pettishly. "I shall 

VOL. I. N 



178 THE miller's daughter. 

never get well if I am tormented in this 
way. I wish I had never seen you. I 
shouldn't have been here, tied and bound, 
if I hadn't." 

It would be unprofitable to pursue this 
conversation that was continued briskly, and 
not very amicably, during Jerusha's stated 
half-hour. It is suflScient to say that it did 
M*rk much harm. He was so excited 
before its close that his tempter was obliged 
to turn it. 

He did so abruptly by an allusion to 
Jerusha. 

'' I used to laugh, Mark, when you went 

up to mast-head in praise of your pretty 

« 

sister. But you didn't run her too high. 
Almost make a man turn short and settle 
down. Plenty of sense too, and the manners 
of a lady. Lady of the manor ! ha, ha ! the 
Grange was a manor-house once." 

Mark was fretting to find a proper reply, 



THE miller's DAUGHTJm. 179 

when he heard, " One — two — three !" from 
the hall clock. 

"That clock will drive me madl" he 
exclaimed. " I have heard every stroke of 
it for twelve hours." 

"We will stop it," said Jerusha, who 
entered as he spoke. 

She retreated immediately, ran down- 
stairs, and stopped the clock, ejaculating \is 
she did so, " Poor Thomas Fudgit ! Poor 
Father Time I obliged to stand still for once 
in your life !" and then she returned to 
Mark's room with her arms full of books. 

" Your time is up. Captain Dangerfield. 
Our clock is as true as they say your North 
Pole is. Father will be in to tea, and there 
are plenty of good books in the parlour," 
she said, standing by Mark's bed. 

The Captain rose, and took leave of Mark, 
expecting Rushy to follow him downstairs. 
But she had no such intention. She had 

n2 



180 THE miller's daughter. 

not liked his glances of admiration at dinner, 
and had not forgotten the lesson she had 
learnt as to tete-a-teies. So she smoothed 
Mark's pillows and forehead, kissed him, 
and told him she was going to read him to 
sleep. 

'* Don't let him come again. Don't go 
down," said Mark. 

She nodded, gravely opened the Book of 
Common Prayer, and began to read the 
Evening Service. 

The well-known words of the prayers,, 
and the ill-known words of the psalms and 
lessons, soothed Mark; and while Jerusha 
was on her knees he fell asleep. 



181 



CHAPTER XI. 

ALL SORTS OF VISITORS. 

rpHE mill was besieged for a few days 
•*- after Mark's accident. Friends and 
neighbours came from far and near to in- 
quire, and Mr. Gay found the truth of the 
French saying, that " A good name is 
better than a golden girdle." He had been 
always ready to help both rich and poor, 
and they, in return, would gladly have 
aided him. 

Mr. Worthington was amongst the first 
visitors, and he took advantage of the op- 
portunity offered to read Mark a little 
sermon on the text that His Heavenly 
Father loved those whom he chastened, 



182 THE miller's daughter. 

and that his accident was doubtless meant 
for some good purpose. Mark yielded to 
be "preached to," as he phrased it, by the 
rector, because he considered it a part of 
that good man's duty ; but ha kicked against 
the advice of his other visitors. While his 
conscience told him that, had Mr. Worthing- 
ton known all, he might have said more 
with effect, and that he might have listened, 
he grew restive Under the slow torture of 
Solomon's rebukes, who, knowing much^ 
sought to become a sort of father confessor, 
to discover more. 

" Let bygones be bygones, Jerusha," said 
Solomon, when he had paid his visit to 
Mark, and was having some tea with her 
and Janey. ''You remember our last 
meeting." 

"I should think I did," exckimed 
Jerusha, laughing. "I am not likely to 
forget it." 



THE miller's daughter. 183 

" I haven't changed my mind, my dear," 
he added. 

" Nor have I, Cousin Solomon," she re- 
turned, decisively. 

When the miller came in to tea Solomon 
repeated the words, "Let bygones be by- 
gones. Cousin Martin." 

''By all means. Let us all forget the 
past, and begin again," said Gay, heartily, 
shaking Solomon's hand. 

"But I haven't changed my mind, 
cousin," said Solomon. 

Janey looked from one to the other in- 
quiringly, while the miller frowned. Rushy 
laughed, and Solomon glanced pertinaciously 
at her. Janey was neither speculative nor 
suspicious, so she did not attempt to dis- 
cover the meaning of Solomon's speeches. 
Her thoughts were with Mark. Although 
she had not seen him, she was constantly at 
the mill. On one pretence or other she 



184 THE miller's daughter. 

came. Now it was to help Jerusha below 
stairs while she was waiting on Mark above ; 
anon to bring a message from Miss Martha, 
whose mind was too much bent on the 
cooking of dainties for the invalid to reflect 
on the messenger who bore them. What- 
ever the state of Mark's heart, there was no 
doubt about Janey's. It beat slow or fast, 
according as he was worse or better, and 
when a message came to her from him, the 
little caged bird fluttered so to escape 
wholly to him that it nearly burst its prison. 
She was like a white butterfly hovering 
over a flower that she yet feared to alight 
upon. 

Mark, meanwhile, reflected and fretted. 
He acknowledged that his accident saved 
him from leaving home secretly, and going 
to sea with Captain Dangerfield, yet he 

ft 

hated being confined to his room. Mr. 
Worthington's advice, his father's tenderness, 



THE miller's daughter. 185 

Jerusha's readings, were not without effect 
one day ; but a letter from Dangerfield, or 
an interview with Levi or Chivers, or some 
other ally whom he chose to see, nullified 
them the next. It was of no comfort to 
him to be aware that it was his own fault, 
since he had not the courage to break 
through the meshes by which he was sur- 
rounded, make a clean breast of it, and 
stick to business. He sometimes wished to 
do this ; but he felt bound by that " honour," 
said to exist even '* among thieves," not to 
desert his captain, and the crew that im- 
mediately surrounded him. Moreover, he 
felt obliged to make more money by illicit 
trade before he could pay his debts, and 
settle down to what was lawful. 

Rushy nursed him with untiring affection, 
glad to have him to herself. She knew him 
too well to preach, but she interested him 
in books and thoughts he had never before 



; 



186 THB miller's daughter. 

read or entertained, while she kept him 
cheerful by her natural wit and mirth. 

" I never thought you were so clever," he 
said to her one day. 

" You see you have much to learn, bro- 
ther," she replied. 

" Others are finding it out. Dangerfield 
sends his compliments to my pretty, spirited 
sister, and hopes to meet you again." 

"I can't return the compliment, for he 
is neither pretty nor spirited," she re- 
joined. "I wonder how you can serve 
under such an ill-looking man. I asked 
Janey if she had a message for you, when 
she brought the jelly, and she said, ' Oh no, 
thank you, but I hope he will soon be well.* 
We are all getting very fond of Janey, even 
Miss Martha, and I shouldn't wonder if she 
were to keep her after all. 

" And make her an heiress ?" cried Mark, 
with spirit. " If only she were an heiress." 



THE miller's daughter. 187 

" I hope not, for then somebody would 
be after Beachton Villa, instead of its sweet 
white rose," replied Rushy. 

More temptations for unstable Mark. 

After a month's restless, if salutary im- 
prisonment, Mark was pronounced on the 
convalescent list. He was released from 
splinters, and allowed to be helped down- 
stairs to a sofa in the sitting-room. All 
genuine women have a tender sympathy 
for lovers, so Rushy had invited Janey ta 
tea on that occasion. The white butterfly 
was flitting about in the parlour, dusting 
and beautifying the china, books, and furni- 
ture, arranging the tea-things, and adding a 
particular rose to Jerusha's nosegay, when 
Mark appeared, supported by his father on 
one side and a temporary crutch on the 
other. Rushy followed with pillows and 
bolsters enough for a dozen invalids. 

*'Well, Janey, I am glad to see you 



188 THE miller's daughter. 

again, and no mistake," said Mark, as soon 
as he was properly arranged on the sofa — 
and nobody but himself knew the pain that 
arrangement caused him. ''You and Miss 
Martha, and everybody indeed, have been 
very kind to me, and I hope I shall not for- 
get it." 

" I am very glad you are better, and — 
and — downstairs again," replied Janey, 
putting her slender fingers in Mark's 
hand. 

He held them affectionately a while, and 
seeing tears in the shy grey eyes, pressed her 
hands. The miller and Jerusha looked on 
approvingly, their eyes not quite dry. 

"I don't deserve it," said Mark; and this 
was the first concession he had made as 
regarded his own deserts. *' You have 
all been better than I deserve." 

" God bless thee, my boy ! We none of 
us deserve His unspeakable mercies," said 



THE miller's daughter. 189^ 

the father, reverently. " Let us thank Him 
that you are here once more." 

It was August, and rather cold, so there 
was a bright fire in the grate on Mark's 
account. The tea-things were spread, the 
brass kettle was steaming and singing, the 
tortoiseshell cat was purring, and the three- 
legged *' cat " was awaiting the buttered 
toast on the hearth-stone. Jerusha soon 
made the tea, and Tilly appeared with the 
toast. Janey asked to be allowed to boil 
an especially fresh egg provided for Mark, 
by the little sand-glass on the mantelpiece^ 
and the miller said he didn't see why he 
should not have an egg also. 

" I have put on my best coat in honour 
of the occasion," he said. " So, Janey, if 
you boil it to a turn you don't know what 
the effect may be." 

They were thus engaged when there was 
a double knock at the front door. 



190 THE miller's daughter. 

" Put in a couple more eggs, Janey," said 
Mr. Gay; and " How provoking I" ejaculated 
Mark. 

It was Lieutenant Firman, who had called 
to inquire for Mark. He had been once 
before, when passing through Beachton 
with two of his men, but had not come in. 
Hearing his voice, Mr. Gay went out to ask 
him into the parlour. He was at once in- 
vited to tea, and accepted the invitation, 
intimating that he was off duty for an hour 
or so. Although Mark thanked him cor- 
dially for his aid in time of need, the sight 
of his uniform somewhat damped the pleas- 
ure of his company. When he was duly 
introduced to Janey, and seated, however, 
his genial, unpretending manners soon won 
upon Mark, and conversation flowed. 

*' I left you at a very different tea-table 
from this one, and at a different hour," he 
said, looking at Jerusha. 



THE miller's daughter. 191 

Her face was unusudly flushed, and her 
dimples prominent, as she replied, " I am 
afraid we were very inhospitable then, but 
I hope we shall make up for it now." 

" T am sure it will be my own fault if 
you do not," remarked Firman, looking at 
the tea-table, with its supply of fresh 
butter, eggs, and cream from Jerusha's dairy 
and poultry-yard, and white and brown bread 
from her father's wheat and flour. " If they 
live so well and look so happy when one 
comes upon them by chance, life must be 
pleasant here," he thought, as he glanced 
from Rushy to Janey. 

Frank Firman did his best to. add to its 
pleasures. He had, apparently, seen a 
great deal of the world, and talked agree- 
ably. He was, besides, naturally polite to 
women. He attended industriously to Jeru- 
fiha's tea-kettle, and waited on her and 
Janey unostentatiously ; that is to say, he 



192 THE miller's daughter. 

did not make efforts at being polite, as some 
do, against the grain, but was so instinctive- 
ly. He also helped Mark, and saved Jeru- 
sha all possible trouble. In spite of this 
Mark was the only one who did not con- 
sider him " quite the pink of a young man.'' 
He suddenly grew jealous of him, because 
he saw Janey casting shy glances at him 
across the tea-table, and fancied she was not 
so attentive to himself as usual. But a stranger 
who has seen something of life, and can 
talk easily, is ever a welcome guest in a 
country place, and Firman was not conceited 
enough to keep his experience to himself, 
or to consider it anything but ordinary 
knowledge. He had also that rare gift of 
holding himself in the background, and his 
companions knew no more of him as the 
"great I" of his own story when he left 
than when he came. 

It is said that " a good listener " is the 



THE miller's daughter. 193 

best of company; but better still is he or 
she who, while conversing, forgets self. 

"How do you like Muchsandy coast- 
guard station, after seeing so much of the 
world ?" asked Mr. Gay. 

'' It is dreary enough, but a good situation 
for our work," replied Firman. " We can 
command the enemy, if we cannot catch 
him." 

"You've got a martello tower against 
Jack Frog soldier, and cutters for Jack 
Frog smuggler," laughed the miller. "I 
wish John Bull had nothing to do with 'em. 
Yo.u're not far from Dangerfield Grange, 
where Mark's captain lives ; and we've got 
a cousin, Hasluck by name, down that 
way." 

" I have seen them both. Very different 
characters I should think," said Firman, 
looking at Mark. 

"Very," replied Mark, with an uneasy 

VOL. I. 



194 THE miller's daughter. 

laugh, in which Eushy joined her dear 
treble. 

"You know them, Miss Gay?" asked 
Firman. " What do you think of them ?" 

'* Musn't ask Rushy," said Mr. Gay, with 
a smile. 

"Why not, father? I think Captain 
Dangerfield ugly and disagreeable, and 
Cousin Solomon the oddest man that ever 
lived/* she said, frankly. 

"More candid than polite," muttered 
Mark. 

At this juncture Miss Martha walked in, 
followed by Captain Bowles. There was a 
general stir, succeeded by greetings, con- 
gratulations, and introductions. 

" Couldn't get rid of the Captain, so I 
brought him down here," said Miss Martha. 
" Glad to make your acquaintance, sir," to 
Firman, " though you are against free-trade, 
and I am all for the smugglers. Captaia 
Bowles and you will agree." 



THE miller's daughter. 195 

"Captain Bowles!" ejaculated Firman, 
fixing his eyes on that gentleman, and 
again repeating, thoughtfully, " Captain 
Bowles I Captain Bowles !" 

"At your service, sir. Anything re- 
markable in my name ? Not uncommon in 
the South, where I was born," said the Cap- 
tain, bristling. 

All eyes were turned upon him, for there 
was some curiosity respecting his antece- 
dents, and he was the only man of that 
name in the neighbourhood. 

"I beg your pardon, sir* The name is 
familiar to rae, but not as a south- country 
one," said Firman; then moving towards 
Jerusha, while the Captain turned to Mark, 
he asked her, in an under-tone, where Cap- 
tain Bowles lived. 

" At Lambswool Cottage, Woolleysheep- 
fold. Not a very suitable name, though he 
is very kind-hearted," replied Jerusha, 

o2 



196 THE miller's daughter. 

laughing, and showing her dimples and 
white teeth. 

** She would laugh at a feather, and cry 
at goose-down/' her father was wont to 
say. 

Firman appeared to forget Captain 
Bowles in admiration of the miller s daugh- 
ter, though he frequently looked at him. 
During the remainder of his stay he talked 
to her, while the others were more or less 
engaged with Mark. He was as much 
struck by her shrewd comprehensive re- 
marks as by her good looks, and when he 
took leave of her thanked her for a happy 
two hours in a lonely life. She replied 
that all thanks were on their side. 

"Another conquest, Rushy?" shouted 
Miss Martha, while Mr. Gay was yet seeing 
him off. '' Now Tm not going to let you 
jilt Solomon." 

" A fine good-looking young fellow, but 



THE miller's daughter. 197 

wanting in manners. What business had 
he to repeat my name, and stare at me? 
Never heard his before in my life," ex- 
claimed Captain Bowles. 

" * A cat may look at a king,' " said Miss 
Martha. ''He divided his attentions be- 
tween you and the girls. He^ didn't con- 
descend to look at an old woman like me, 
though I'm worth a score of 'em." 

" You seemed to admire him enough, 
Janey,'' whispered Mark. " I suppose you 
don't care for one when one's down." 

" Oh, Mark I" said Janey, with a reproach- 
ful glance, and by some accident the slender 
fingers again entwined in his, and Miss 
Martha saw it. 

She had been watching them closely, and 
began to think there was something between 
them ; for although she considered Janey a 
simpleton, she knew her to be shy and 
modest, and not likely to submit to have 



198 THE milleb's daughter. 

her hand held by one who had not made 
her believe that he liked her. 

" I must put a stop to that," she decided 
in a moment, and soon carried Janey off. 



199 



CHAPTER XII. 



DANGEBFIELD GBANGE. 



npHE coastguard station of Muchsandy 
-*- lay north of Beachton, Hollow Cove 
and Sandport south. It was built on 
cliffs that overlooked a dreary extent of 
sandy waste as well as the sea. The houses 
were bare, and blackened with tar, which 
gave them a funereal appearance. They 
were of wood, and under some aspects look- 
ed like ribbed skeletons placed " up aloft'* 
to terrify naughty vessels. With the ex- 
ception of one small abode they were con- 
structed in a block, barrack-wise, and had 
wild-looking gardens at their back, parcelled 



200 THE miller's daughter. 

off by fences, invisible but understood, and 
appropriated to each family of the coast- 
guards. These gardens were backed by 
hills, which looked much as if they consider- 
ed the station an interloper, as the fishermen 
and many of the country-folk did. It had 
not been erected many years, and had 
scarcely had time to accommodate itself to 
circumstances, and to prove its innocence by 
good conduct. The small detached house 
in the centre of this melancholy spot was 
also tarred, to protect it from the elements, 
but it was supposed to be beautified by a 
few shrubs planted within a walled enclo- 
sure. These had, however, grown up hump- 
backed, thanks to the lashings of the winds 
and breezes, and always turned imploringly 
towards the windows, as if expecting the 
penalty of smuggling, for they were certain- 
ly not native to the soil. They had four 
windows and a door to which to bow their 



THE miller's daughter. 201 

dejected heads, and their depression was 
otherwise relieved by the coming and going 
of the coastguardsmen, Lieutenant Firman, 
and the amiable widow who reigned as sole 
housekeeper and domestic. 

This abode was dedicated to the oflSicers, 
and Firman claimed three rooms as his 
own, with the privilege of using the others 
when Captain Hardcastle was not there. 
The latter gentleman lived at Sandport, but 
came occasionally to gladden the hearts of 
his lieutenant and subalterns by an inquisi- 
tion as piercing as that of the shrubs. It 
was hither that Firman returned after his 
cheerful visit at the mill, and he would have 
made invidious comparisons had he not had 
too much work on hand to set about them. 
Perhaps the trees would have been less 
mournful if they had found something to 
shelter; but the birds positively declined 
to build in them, and they had therefore 



202 THE miller's daughter. 

nothing to do but to bow and curtsey to the 
house and one another. 

When Firman had seen his men, and 
parcelled out their night-work, as well as 
his own, he went into his sitting-room, and 
took to his desk. The room was not un- 
comfortable, though its furniture was none 
of the smartest, and it was bereft of orna- 
ments. Firman had not been settled long 
enough to consider adornment, but he had 
arranged his books, maps, and necessary 
papers with care, and knew where to find 
what he wanted at a moment's notice — he 
was methodical, in short. A few photo- 
graphs stood on the mantelpiece, one of 
which was that of a lady, who would have 
been pretty had the sun been propitious 
when she sat to that very uncertain limner ; 
but either he or his assistant chemicals were 
not of the clearest on that occasion. 

It was to the original of this portrait that 



THE MILIiEB's DAUGHTER. 203 

Firman began a letter with " My dear mo- 
ther," and continued it with much rapidity, 
until he ended it as " Your ever affectionate 
son." He had acquired a habit of brevity, 
and had condensed much information in the 
sheet of note-paper before him. After 
sketching the mill and its inmates with a 
few clear strokes, he had proceeded to say 
that a certain Captain Bowles had arrived 
during his visit, and had described him, and 
quoted all that he had said concerning his 
name and birth-spot ; then, without further 
comment, he proceeded to ask his mother 
either to join him in his dreary dwelling, or 
to go into lodgings somewhere within his 
reach. He told her of the picturesque vil- 
lage of WooUeysheepfold, adding that he 
had no doubt lodging and living would be 
cheap there. 

When he had completed his letter, he lay 
down on the somewhat hard sofa, and slept 



204 THE miller's daughter. 

for a couple of hours. He was aroused by 
some of his men, to whom he gave orders to 
proceed to a certain spot along the sandy 
flat below, while he walked over the cliffs. 
They were all armed with pistols and cut- 
lasses. 

The officer who had preceded him at 
Muchsandy had been killed by a fall over 
the cliffs when on duty, and, as is always 
the case after accidents, certain heaps of 
white lime had been multiplied to mark a 
path of safety. Firman had, therefore, no 
difficulty in finding his way, especially as 
the night was not very dark. 

When he had ended his beat on the rocks, 
he came upon comparatively level grass- 
land, beyond the sandy wastes which bound- 
ed the shore, and about half a mile from 
the sea. Hence he reached a rough, rutty 
road, leading past some private dwelling- 
place to the spot where he had appointed 



THE miller's daughter. 205* 

to meet his men. He had visited these 
parts previously by daylight, and had won- 
dered at the strange, lonely, ancient house 
he had stumbled upon. It had been, appa- 
rently, an abode of some pretension in its- 
time, but was falling to decay. It had 
looked to him wild and weird enough in 
sunshine ; it appeared more so by starlight. 
It was surrounded by trees, amongst which 
were many ghostly poplars, and by hedges 
of yew, in which grotesque figures of birds 
had been cut years before, that had never 
quite lost their unnatural shape, and looked 
almost more ghostly than the poplars. 

Firman was making his way down the 
stony, grass-grown road, once a drive, in 
the direction of the sea, when he was sud- 
denly accosted by an authoritative "Who 
are you ? — what business have you here ?" 
He felt assured that the ponderous figure 
which confronted him was the master of the 



206 THE miller's daughter. 

mansion, and replied, quietly, " A coast- 
guardsman in Her Majesty's service." 

" What do you want here ?" was the next 
question, interpolated with an oath. 

" I am merely on duty," was the reply. 

'' So am I. Just come out to look after 
poachers. Hark! there's a gun. Excuse 
me, I am my own gamekeeper. Wait here 
till I return." 

There was no gun, and Firman did not 
wait, but continued to pick his way amongst 
the ruts. Had he been keen-eyed or swift- 
footed enough to follow the man he would 
have known that he encountered almost 
immediately several figures bearing burdens. 
By gestures more than by words he mo- 
tioned them back, pointing to a thick wood 
in a direction contrary to that which Firman 
was taking. Then he turned, and rejoined 
the lieutenant. 

" I suppose you are on the look-out for 



THE miller's daughter. 207 

smugglers, as I am for poachers," he said. 
" You are off the scent here ; though people 
are polite enough to say my old warren is a 
smugglers' haunt as well as a haunted house, 
but I have failed to find them. 1 wish you 
would come in and have a look. It would 
ease my conscience. You and I should be 
birds of a feather, for I take it you have 
been to sea, and I am a sea-captain, Dan- 
gerfield by name. You are Lieutenant 
Firman, I think, stationed at Muchsandy." 

Firman hesitated. He was shrewd enough 
to suspect that the speaker had private 
reasons for the invitation. 

" If you will let me keep an appointment 
at the Gap, first, I will return," he said. 

" Soit^ Monsieur^'^ was the rejoinder, and 
they separated. 

The Gap was a wild spot with a bad 
name, just brought under the especial 
notice of Firman. He soon reached it, and 



208 THE miller's daughter. 

found his men there. He told them where 
he was going, and ordered two of them to 
follow him at a distance, and the others to 
keep watch along the coast. Then he re- 
turned by the same road, unaware that his 
steps had been dogged and his orders over- 
heard by Dangerfield, for he was waiting 
for him at his gate. He followed him 
through a tangled maze of overgrown shrubs 
to the house, and they went into a large 
wainscoted apartment, that must once have 
been the dining-room. It was carefully 
shuttered, and there were lights and a fire. 
They had met before, casually, and inter- 
changed a few words, which gave Danger- 
field an opening for saying that he wished 
to make Firman's acquaintance, and would 
have called upon him had he lived on land 
instead of sea. 

"You helped an old mate of mine — a 
very lame dog— over a stile," he said, with 



THE miller's daughteb. 209 

one of his peculiar glances, which seemed to 
take in all and give out nothing. *' Anyone 
who lends a hand to one of my friends lends 
a hand to me." 

^*It was quite accidental. I suppose 
young Gay has given up seafaring," returned 
Firman, answering the glance by one equally 
cautious, if less ferocious. 

" He knows best. I ask no secrets and 
get no lies. Do you know his soft old 
father, and that saucy pretty sister of his? 
I should like to teach that young rustic a 
lesson or two." 

Firman felt his hand move towards the 
hilt of the weapon he wore, but he com- 
manded his temper. 

'* I have been at their house this even- 
ing," he said. " Mr. Gay seems to me only 
soft as regards the heart, but firm enough in 
the understanding, and I should scarcely 
call his daughter a rustic. Her manners 

VOL. I. p 



2 10 THE millbr's daughter. 

are very good, and she is, I should think, 
well educated. She has, at least, more 
information than most girls." 

" Hum ! Bitten like Solemn Solomon," 
muttered Dangerfield. "As to educated, 
she might have had the first education in the 
land for that much. Old Gay is both rich 
and respectable, but he and the Haslucks — 
also a good family enough — choose to keep 
their place among the yeomen, while we 
poor gentry run off to sea, or anywhere else, 
for a living, and they, or the rich tradesmen, 
buy up our land. Solomon Hasluck has 
bought most of mine. His farm joins the 
Grange, and he will have it all soon." 

Dangerfield did not say that his father 
had squandered his inheritance, and that he 
himself had been wild and reckless all his 
life. He asked Firman to have some re- 
freshments, and went to a cupboard in the 
wainscot as he spoke. 



THE MILLEB's daughter. 211 

" I keep bread and cheese and drinkables 
here at hand," he said. *' My musty old 
housekeeper is as deaf as a post, and takes 
a day and a half to bring them." 

"I thought we were to look after the 
smugglers," said Firman. " Thank you, but 
I shall get home to breakfast, and I never 
drink spirits." 

"Smugglers. and poachers are not easily 
caught; but I should like to clear up the 
reputation of my Grange by showing a live 
coastguardsman that there is nothing in it 
but a deaf old crone and the rats," said 
Dangerfield, unfastening the shutters. 
"We're early to rise, if not early to bed. 
What a chatter those swallows keep up as 
soon as there's a streak of day." 

Although Firman did not understand 
the game Dangerfield was playing, he 
yet followed him through the rooms of 
the ground-floor of his dilapidated man- 

p2 



212 THE miller's daughteb. 

sion. He even went down to the cellars. 

" This is for my own satisfaction," said the 
Captain. " You see the sitting-rooms are 
nearly void of furniture, and the cellars 
quite empty of drink. You can say so, and 
that there is not a hole for a smuggler to 
hide either himself or his goods. I will 
give orders that you shall be admitted when- 
ever you like, for I am * an honourable 
man, a most honourable man !' and, being 
in the merchant service, don't choose to be 
suspected of the contraband business. Ha, 
ha ! not but that I can drink a comfortable 
glass or so, if you can't, be the spirits 
smuggled or excised." 

His manner was so free and easy that 
Firman, a comparative stranger, gave him 
credit for sincerity. He knew that there 
was smuggling all down the coast, and had 
already seized smuggled spirits, confiscated 
them, and given their bearers up to such 



THE miller's daughter. 213 

justice as lenient magistrates imposed in the 
way of fines ; but he had not come in for it 
on a large scale. Dangerfield, on the con- 
trary, was well aware that his neighbourhood, 
and he feared his house and ship, were be- 
coming suspected, and he daringly resolved 
to baffle suspicion, if possible, by the extreme 
of candour, and to divert attention from the 
Orange and Gap to some other point of the 
compass. Still Firman narrowly examined 
the passages and corners, as he passed 
through them, and suspected that there were 
still others more entirely dedicated to the 
rats and mice. 

The day was breaking when they returned 
to the dining-room, and Firman took his 
departure. Dangerfield watched him down 
the path till he was lost amongst the shrubs. 

" Bad luck for you, my fine fellow, if 
ever we meet in a smuggling riot. Your 
head will be some inches lower than it is 



214 THE miller's daughter. 

now," he muttered ; and just as the birds 

were beginning their morning hymns of 

« 

praise, and the sun was responding by grate- 
ful beams of light, he went to his uneasy 
rest. 



215 



CHAPTER XIII. 



jerusha's life-stream. 



" TT7ELL, Janey, I couldn't have believed 
' ' you were so for'ard. But ' still 
waters run deep/ as the proverb says," ex- 
claimed Miss Martha, when she and her 
niece reached the villa, after their visit to 
the mill. 

Janey was standing before her, looking 
meek and downcast, and apparently striving 
to unfasten a knot in her bonnet-strings. 

" I didn't mean to be forward, indeed I 
didn't," she whispered. 

'* Fiddlesticks 1 You boarding-school misses 
don't know what backward means, except in 



216 THE miller's daughter. 

useful learning. I call it for'ard to let your 
fingers go twiddle-twaddling into Mark's as 
if they were crab's claws, never to be disen- 
tangled. Why, Rushy would as soon have 
thrust hers into a lobster's as into a young 
man's. Now, don't deny it, for I saw it all, 
and I don't countenance such ways. You 
have been here long enough, too long, for 
that much, and now you must go home. 
I'll have nothing to do with young women 
that make love to young men." 

"Indeed, aunt, I didn't — it was — ^it 
was " pleaded Janey. 

"Don't call me omt. I mean it. You 
go home to-morrow. No ; next day. To- 
morrow you must pack and take leave. I 
shouldn't be surprised if then you were to 
ask Mark to marry you outright." 

Janey's bonnet-strings dropped, and her 
tearful grey eyes met Miss Martha's with 
quite an indignant flash. But the protest 



THE miller's daughter. 217 

on her lips was lost in sobs, and she hurried 
out of the room to give way to her sudden 
grief, where her aunt need not witness it. 

"I've settled that business," ejaculated 
Miss Martha. '^Mark cares no more for 
her than a fox for a sucking pig; but he 
cares for the farm-yard she squeaks in. He's 
mistaken if he thinks I've adopted her, or 
any of the brood of such a cuckoo of a 
mother, who is willing to leave her eggs in 
any bird's nest that will house 'em. If 
Rushy had been a niece now !" 

Poor little Janey happened to be the eldest 
daughter of Miss Martha's half-brother, who 
had died some seven or eight years before, 
leaving a widow and five children. Miss 
Martha's father had married twice, and she 
was the only child of the first marriage, and 
inherited her mother's fortune, which had 
consisted of Beachton Farm and a small 
house near it. She had preferred, as a 



218 THE miller's daughter. 

single woman, to live in the latter abode, 
and had improved and adorned it, until it 
had acquired the distinctive of villa, contrary 
to her wishes. Woe to the individual who 
used the obnoxious word in her presence ! 

" Miss Hasluck, Beachton, is quite enough, 
and more aristocratic^ if that's your object," 
she would say with emphasis. " I hate your 
villas, and. belle- vues, and plaisances, and 
don't care a straw whether they are Norman, 
or Saxon, or Patagonian, I am plain Eng- 
lish, and Beachton is English; whether it 
means a town on a beach, or a barrel on a 
beach. What's the odds ?" 

When Miss Martha had seen that her 
maids were in bed, and had perambulated 
the house as turnkey — ^for so she phrased it 
— she paused at Janey's door, and listened 
for a few seconds. 

" I declare she's bleating like a sick calf," 
she muttered, trying to open the door. 



THE miller's daughter. 219 

" She's locked herself in. Janey, Janey, I 
say ! Open the door. I don't allow any 
lock-ups in this house but my own, and I've 
just seen to them." 

Janey obeyed, and appeared in a trem- 
bling and dishevelled state. She was partly 
undressed, and the ringlets fell in disordered 
confusion over her white neck and shoul- 
ders. She was very pale, and tears were in 
her eyes, in spite of her previous efforts to 
dry them. 

" Well, you have got a sight of hair, 
child !" said Miss Martha. *^ Almost as long 
as Eve's. Why on earth do you twiddle it 
up in those corkscrews, as if you were 
always going to draw a bung out of a cider 
barrel ? Why, it curls naturally, and looks 
pretty enough as 'twas first made." 

" Yes, aunt, but it would be too long if 
I didn't curl it stiffly," replied Jane, suppress- 
ing a sob. 



220 THE miller's daughter. 

" Omt again ! Once more, let me tell 
jou that I like to be pronounced sharp and 
short, as if I was an Ant. Now, the ants 
will teach you a deal more than I can. 
They are at work from morning till night, 
^nd, I can tell you, don't tangle their an- 
tennae, as they call 'em, in love-making. 
They have enough to do to keep a tidy 
house over their heads, and find their din- 
ners. Now wipe your eyes. You shall 
come again some day. And take my advice, 
child — don't go after the men. If they 
want you they'll look you up fast enough, 
and all the faster if you don't want them." 

With which profound philosophical fact 
Miss Martha left Janey to console herself as 
she best could. 

But the hoped-for consolation did not 
<;ome. There was no reprieve. Miss 
Martha, like Solomon Hasluck, had made 
tip her mind. 



THE miller's daughter. 221 

* 

Accordingly, Janey went, the following 
afternoon, to take leave of her friends at 
the mill. She espied Jerusha in the 
orchard, and walked towards her. The 
mill-wheel was in active operation, and as 
she crossed the mill-dam at the back of the 
house, she perceived numerous carts, ani- 
mals, and people waiting for the grinding 
of their grist, or for the sacks of flour ready 
for transportation. The mill appeared to 
be almost disconnected with the dwelling- 
house, though they really joined, and from 
the mill-dam the pile of building looked 
considerable, with its mill on one side, 
farm on the other, and homestead in the 
centre. It was not surprising that Janey 
should pause to think of the pleasant posi* 
tion Mark's wife might fill one of these 
days. Not that she was either speculative or 
avaricious; on the contrary, she was so 
foolishly improvident that she would have 



222 THE miller's daughter. 

married Mark to-day had she starved with 
him to-morrow. 

While she stood a moment on the mill- 
dam, Jerusha came to meet her, and so 
helped to complete a very lovely picture. 
On one side the mill-pond, fed by the 
sparkling stream from the hills, and fringed 
with willows and rushes, amongst which 
two white swans dwelt and nested, together 
with numerous other water-fowl ; on the 
other, the big wheel, scattering its surf and 
pouring its waterfalls; below, the escaped 
stream dancing thoughtlessly towards its 
last home, the mighty ocean. 

" You are not afraid to cross, Janey ? it 
is quite safe," said Jerusha, holding out her 
hand, while the swans came at the sound of 
her voice. 

" Not exactly," said the timid but truthful 
Janey. " I was thinking how pretty it all 
is." 



THE miller's daughter. 223 

" I find nothing so pretty anjrwhere," re- 
turned Jerusha, stooping to stroke her 
swan's neck. "And it always makes me 
solemn." 

" You solemn, Rushy !" laughed Janey. 

"Why not? I am not always merry. 
The stream is so like life. It begins 
amongst the hills, we know not how ; that 
is its babyhood. Then it runs, and plays, 
and dances like a child, till this mill-dam 
checks it ; it tarries here, as we tarry when 
we are grown up ; it seems to long to burst 
over the mill-dam sometimes, and then is 
content to rest. But for it the wheel would 
not work, and but for life we could not 
work. I thank God for life and work, for 
we can all do much good in our little span. 
But the stream is not content to dwell in 
the mill-pond always, Janey. See how it 
has made two paths instead of one, like two 
lines. Follow them, and you will see that 



224 THE milleb's daughter. 

they stray away from one another, then 
join, then separate again. Sometimes they 
are bright and gay, at others dull and sad ; 
in one place they run over rough stones, at 
another smooth pebbles, but they both roll 
side by side down the rock, into the cove, 
and there they join and run together into 
the sea." 

" Like lovers," ejaculated Janey. 

** Perhaps," sighed Jerusha. " But all 
who live are not lovers, though all must run 
their course through many dangers to the 
grave and eternity ; you see, Janey, if we do 
not pass* life with those we love best, we 
may be united in heaven." 

*' How solemn you are, Rushy 1" said 
Janey, beginning to cry. 

**What is the matter, Janey? I am 
grieved to have troubled you," exclaimed 
Jerusha. " Come and see Mark. He is 
tired of me already." 



THE miller's daughter. 225 

" I — I — am going away. I am — come — 



to say — good-bye," said Janey, in a choking 
voice. 

Jerusha, perceiving that something was 
amiss, led Janey to a sequestered corner of 
the pond, where a decayed pollard -willow 
formed a natural seat, and where no one 
but the swans, which followed them thither, 
could see them. Here Janey, with down- 
cast head, and hand in Jerusha's, told her 
tale ; and here, hot-tempered, sympathetic 
Rushy burst forth in anger at Miss Martha, 
and pity for Janey. But common sense 
peeped in between the anger and pity, and 
she said, 

" Well, Janey, you are only going home 
after all; and I daresay we shall often 
meet. Besides, your mother and little 
brothers and sisters must want you, and you 
owe them duty, you know." 

**It — is — so — dull. And mother gets — 

VOL. I. Q 



226 THE miller's daughter. 

cross, and the children — won't mind me," 
sobbed Janey. 

" That is your life-stream, perhaps, Janey. 
Don't fret against the big stones, but pass 
them by, or wear them down ; the gentle 
water sometimes rubs them smooth, while 
the rough torrent only dashes over them, 
and makes-no lasting impression." 

*' Is that how you do, Rushy ?" 

"Well, I try; but you know I have a 
quick temper. You, on the contrary, have, 
I should think, no temper at all. I am not 
sure that I like that, for the make-up after 
a quarrel is like the mill-wheel's rest after 
turning and grinding all day long." 

" Yes. Aunt Martha is fonder of you 
than ever, Rushy, now you have made 
friends ; and she is displeased with me, who 
try never to annoy her. I will be hasty 
and decided like you, then perhaps she will 



THE millee's daughter. 227 

love me, for she doesn't care for me as I 
am. 

" Pray don't, Janey. Restraint is better 
than repentance. But come and see Mark ; 
his temper is none of the sweetest just now, 
and if it were not for me he would be up 
and about, in spite of the doctor." 

The two girls went together to the house. 
When they reached the parlour door 
they heard loud voices within, as if Mark 
and another were quarrelling. Mark's was 
the loudest, and had they been mean enough 
to listen, they could have overheard the 
conversation. Janey did pause with a 
''Hark, Rushy;" but Jerusha said, '^This 
will never do," and opened the door. The 
words, " You won't be satisfied till you've 
ruined me," came from Mark as Jerusha 
entered, and a muttered curse from Captain 
Dangerfield. The latter rose as they ap- 

q2 



228 THE miller's daughtee. 

peared, and with scowling face but honeyed 
manner, said Mark was exciting himself be- 
cause he was endeavouring to persuade him 
against curing himself by a sea-voyage. 

" You need not fear, Captain Dangerfield,'^ 
said Jerusha, meeting the ominous eyes with 
a bright, resolute glance, "Mark will not 
move from that sofa until he has my per- 
mission ; and everyone knows that I have a 
will of my own, if he has not." 

'^ Will you lay your commands upon me 
also? I think you would find me the 
more tractable of the two," said Dangerfield, 
who was not without his weak point — an 
admiration for beauty and spirit. 

"Certainly, if you will obey them," re- 
plied undaunted Jerusha. " You and Mark 
must not meet again until you have been 
your voyage and returned. Dr. Walsh says 
he still has fever, and I say it is sea-fever. 
He used to 'declare that he had hay-fever 



THE miller's daughter. 229 

when he wanted to join the crew of the Sea 
Serpent about haymaking time ; but that is 
past, and the fever has broken out under a 
new name." 

*' Not scarlet fever, but blue fever," said 
Dangerfield. ''Ha, ha, not a bad joke, 
Gay," turning to Mark. " I wish you would 
give it to me. Two such pretty nurses 
would make any fever endurable." 

Mark was looking hot and angry^ and Janey, 

in spite of Miss Martha, had stolen to his side. 

"They and father have pulled me 

through," muttered Mark, *' and I don't want 

to go back again." 

*' A long pull and a strong pull," laughed 
Dangerfield. '* A very irresistible pull, ap- 
parently." 

Jerusha had drawn a small table towards 
her, and quietly began to do some sewing, 
which lay in a basket upon it. She did not 
mean to leave Dangerfield and Mark alone. 



230 THE miller's daughtee. 

Meaifwhile Janey had managed to tell Mark 
of her intended departure. He was too 
much pre-occupied to be troubled by the 
information, and poor Janey was thus sud- 
denly assured that her aunt was right, and 
that he did not really care for her. She re- 
strained the ready tears with difficulty, and 
turned with a sort of shy pride from him to 
Jerusha, saying, 

''I think I had better go now, Rushy. 
Aunt told me not to stay." 

" I shall see you again before you leave, 
dear," said Jerusha. " But I must attend to- 
Mark first." 

Janey curtseyed to Dangerfield, and 
hastened away. She met Mr. Gay, bade 
him a hasty good-bye, and was soon stand- 
ing alone on the bridge where she and Mark 
had once been hand-in-hand together. 



231 



CHAPTER XIV. 

" HOW VERY, VBEY KIND." 

'' rS that Mrs. Joe Hasluck's daughter?'* 
-■' asked Dangerfield, when Janey had 
departed. " She would be pretty if she had 
a little of your colour, Miss Gay. Sweet 
upon her, eh, Mark? or is she sweet on 
you r 

Jerusha did not like the compliment, or 
Mark the inquiry, so neither replied di- 
rectly ; but Jerusha put a pertinent question 
instead. 

" Was not her father a friend of yours, 
Captain Dangerfield ? My father often talks 
of you both." 



232 THE miller's daughter. 

"' He was a neighbour. I never had any 
friends — indeed, I don't believe in them. 
We used to play together as boys. Joe 
Hasluck was a weak, unlucky fellow, and 
always his own enemy." 

While Dangerfield was speaking Mr. Gay 
came in. 

" He was indeed, captain," he said, catch- 
ing the last sentence. " He ruined himself 
and his family by dabbling in the smuggling 
trade down Muchsandy way. I hear the 
Preventive men are on the look-out there 
again, and^hey tell me there's a revenue 
cutter not far off. I'm thankful that the 
Beachton folk keep out of mischief Not a 
word against us." 

It was these facts which had brought 
Dangerfield to see Mark. He had come to 
tell him of his interview with Firman the 
previous evening, and of his intention to 
keep the coastguardsmen on the scent down 



THE miller's daughter. 233 

below Muchsandy, if possible, while he 
landed his goods either at Hollow Cove or 
Beachton, as opportunity offered. He had 
assured Mark that the mill would be a 
capital hiding-place, and Levi a first-rate 
assistant, if the time of need should come ; 
and it was this which had caused Mark to 
use the angry words which his sister had 
overheard. Dangerfield had spoken con- 
temptuously of Firman as " a fledgling who 
could be easily netted," and whom he had 
already trapped by his pretended openness. 
He had also informed Mark that, when he 
had seen Firman and his men off his ground 
on one side, he had sent a watcher to the 
other to order the smugglers whom he had 
sent back, to return to the Grange with their 
burdens, which were safely housed in vaults 
unexplored by the lieutenant. 

Captain Dangerfield had a keen love for 
his nefarious trade as a trade ; whilst Mark 



234 the: miller's daughteb. 

simply loved it for the daring and adven- 
tures it entailed. Dangerfield knew all the 
machinery at work along the southern coast 
of England, and had helped to perfect some 
of it. He only wished that he had been 
captain when he was cabin-boy, and smug- 
gling was not on the decline, as now, thanks 
to coast-blockades and preventive service, 
established since his boyhood, when he had 
run away to sea. He was acquainted with 
the signals, caves, and subterranean com- 
munications that were employed to aid the 
smuggler by land and sea, and which, like 
many other clever underhand contrivances, 
deserved to be used in a better cause. And 
Mark was not the only man who, knowing 
better, had yielded to his tempting incite- 
ments to run the road to ruin. He had 
helped Janey's father on that insecure way 
as well. 

" What takes Janey away from us so 



THE miller's DAUGHTEB. 235' 

soon ?" asked the miller, seeing that Mark 
was unusually silent and sullen. " I could 
get nothing out of her, so I shall attack 
Miss Martha, who, I daresay, knows the^ 
reason." 

'* A bristling sort of a hedgehog, I should 
think ; I would rather keep out of her way," 
said Dangerfield. " That sort of woman is 
as bad as a tornado/' 

" The very kindest, best-hearted woman 
in the whole world 1" exclaimed Rushy 
enthusiastically, who always stood up for 
her friends when absent. 

" I wish I were Miss Martha," said Dan- 
gerfield. "Would you defend me if any- 
one backbit me ?" 

Jerusha looked up from her work, and 
fixed her eyes steadily upon him. He felt 
the brightness of their fire, but could not 
return it. 

" If you are brother's true friend, sir, I 



236 THE iAhlleb's daughter, 

shall not fail to defend you," she said, em- 
phasizing the word true. 

*' Rushy, what will you say next ? Of 
course he is my true friend," said Mark, 
angrily. 

But Dangerfield rose to go. He did not 
like the suspicion implied in her words, 
though he longed to dispel it. This rough, 
bad man could assume a gentle manner and 
pleasing voice when he chose. He assumed 
them as he took leave of her, resisting all 
invitations to remain to tea. 

'^ Of course I am his friend. Miss Jerusha, 
and shall expect you to keep your promise," 
he said, giving her haijd a squeeze so hard 
that it belied the softness of his speech, and 
brought the blood to her cheeks. 

When he had gone Mr. Gay asked his 
eon what had brought him again to the mill. 
He was an unsuspicious man, yet he feared 



THE milleb's daughter. 237 

lest Dangerfield's visits might revive Mark's 
taste for roving. 

That " affliction *' which *' cometh not 
from the ground," had left its impress on 
Mark. Although he had kicked against it, 
certain lessons taught him by his mother, in 
childhood, and repeated to him both by 
precept and example ever since, had been 
running incessantly in his mind. One of 
these was never to tell a lie. Of late years 
he had often made excuses, which he tried to 
believe were not actually lies : but when on his 
sick-bed, these and multitudes of deceptions 
arose before him like so many haunting 
ghosts, and he was compelled to confess that 
he had sinned. He had made many good 
resolutions, and here was an opportunity to 
practise them. But he dared not criminate 
Dangerfield, Levi, and all the rest who were 
acting lies with him. He had taken the 



238 THE miller's daughter. 

first step into wrong-doing, and he had not 
the courage to withdraw. Therefore he 
was silent when his father spoke. Not so 
Jerusha. She knew that it would be un- 
wise to irritate Mark, but having heard that 
speech of his when she entered the room, 
she could not hold her tongue. 

" Captain Dangerfield is a cunning man, 
father; and I think he wants to entrap 
Mark to sea again, when his leg is strong 
enough. We must chain him to the mill- 
wheel." 

" It seems to me that God has spoken to 
thee once, my son," said the miller, " and 
He means thee to stop at home ; we cannot 
strive against Him. I thought He had put 
another plea for me and Rushy and the 
mill in thy path, in the shape of pretty 
Janey. Marry her, my boy, and settle 
down. Have you quarrelled, that she is 



THE miller's daughter. 239 

going to leave Miss Martha ? She looked 
very downcast when I met her." 

** Certainly not, father. But I am * settled 
down ' without Janey at present, and don't 
want a wife," replied Mark. " Rushy rules 
and manages for us all." 

" You're not playing at * fast and loose ' 
with her ?" said the miller, fixing his pene- 
trating eyes on Mark. 

" It is Miss Martha, and not Mark, who 
is sending Janey away/' said Jerusha. 

Mark was aroused by this assertion, but 
Jerusha did not think herself justified to 
betray Janey's innocent confidence, there- 
fore gave no reasons. Indeed, she was in- 
clined to agree with Miss Martha that Mark 
and Janey were in no wise suited, and that 
Janey would be best at home. Rushy's 
ideas of love and marriage were of too ex- 
alted a nature to let her second her father 



240 THE miller's daughter. 

as to the "settling down" he proposed. 
Beneath her sprightly manner and ready 
speech lav many unsounded depths of 
thought and tenderness, which caused her 
to know instinctively that something beyond 
a passing fancy, or mere personal admiration, 
was necessary to bind two souls together 
for union in this world and the next. 

But the miller, like many a parent, had 
a notion that if Mark married he would be 
steady ; and to keep this '^ apple of his eye '^ 
at home, was his one object. He therefore 
sought an interview with Miss Martha that 
very evening. 

He found her alone, for Janey was slowly 
and disconsolately packing up. 

"So pretty little Janey 's going away!" 
he began. "You'll be sorry to lose her, 
Cousin Martha." 

*• Glad to be rid of her, rather. The 
young people of the present day are good 



THE miller's daughter. 241 

for nothing but fiddle-faddling. But what 
can one expect from the children of a couple 
of gallenies like Joe and Mary Anne? 
Never going for'ards, but always crying 
*come back, come back/ till they ruined 
themselves. Janey's just like 'em ; content 
to look smooth and pretty, and do nothing 
but play waltzes, as they call that improper 
new-fangled dance." 

" Well, T must say I think she is very 
amiable, and very pretty," said Mr. Gay. 

"I've no opinion of your amiable people. 
Cousin Martin. YouWe too amiable by half 
yourself. You spoil everybody, and every- 
body takes advantage of you. As to 
Mark " 

" It was about him I wished to speak to 
you. Cousin Martha — him and Janey," 
interrupted Mr Gay. "They seem to me 
to have a fancy for one another ; would you 
object to their making a match of it ?" 

VOL. I. R 



242 THE milleb's daughtee. 

" I ! What have I to do with it? I'm 
thankful that I'm not their mother and 
father. If I were 1 should as soon think of 
letting 'em marry as of tying up the wind to 
Dandy out yonder. People with a grain of 
common sense don't marry at all !" 

" That is not the question. I am willing 
to take people as they are, common sense or 
none; and I should be glad to see Mark 
settled, and to have Janey for a daughter- 
in-law," said the miller, decidedly. 

"Then, Cousin Gay, you must go to 
Mrs. Joe Hasluck for some one to agree 
with you, since I do not," returned Miss 
Martha, bluntly. "I have no doubt she 
will be as pleased as Punch to let Mark 
have Janey. But are you sure he wants 
her r 

This question puzzled the miller. '' Well, 
I think so," he replied, rubbing his right 
ear. 



THE miller's daughter. 243 

" Then I do not. And I want him to 
understand that I've no more adopted Janey 
than I have Solomon, or any other of my 
nephews and nieces. Besides, I'm as like- 
ly to live to a hundred as old Polly Tuck, 
who is one hundred and one next month. 
What a mercy it would be if she was taken 1 
And that's what they would say of me ; for 
not a penny of money will they have till I 
have departed this life, so I'll warrant they 
want me gone already." 

The miller laughed, and said that if one 
person did not make way for another the 
world would be too full. "Besides," he 
added, "it is not desirable to live for 
ever here. The flesh is a sad cumberer 
of the spirit, and one's earthly affections 
make one forget better and more enduring 
ones." 

" I'm thankful to say mine don't," retorted 
Miss Martha, "and I'm willing to live as long 

r2 



244 THE miller's DAUaHTEB. 

as ever I can ; for I enjoy life. You see I 
have neither husband nor children to worrit 
health and happiness out of my bones, and 
when other people's offspring trouble me I 
pack 'em off. I don't mean to lose ray flesh 
and temper for the fandangoes of fools." 

"Then you mean to send pretty little 
Janey away. I'm sorry for that, for all our 
sakes." 

" Yes, to-morrow. And I advise you to 
let her and Mark alone. They'll forget one 
another by the time she reaches Much- 
sandy." 

" That is what I wish to avoid," said the 
puzzled miller. 

Here Jerusha appeared to take leave of 
Janey, and Miss Martha told her that she 
would find her upstairs, whither she went. 
Janey was sitting on one small box, and 
looking despondingly into another. Her 
clothes were scattered round her, waiting to 



THE milleb's daughteb. 245 

be packed. Her hands were folded help- 
lessly on her lap, and she was crying. 

"This will never do, Janey," began Jeru- 
eha. "If you really want to come back 
again, you must show that you wish to 
please Cousin Martha ; besides, red eyes and 
a red nose are sadly unbecoming. Just look 
at yourself, and smooth your hair, while I 
do your packing." 

Janey meekly obeyed, and was much 
taken aback by the reflection of herself in 
the looking-glass. 

" Well, I certainly do look a fright, 
Rushy !" she said, and forthwith went to her 
ewer, poured out some water, and began to 
sponge her eyes. 

Jerusha had a message from Mark, which 
she scarcely liked to deliver, because she 
feared it might raise hopes in Janey's breast 
that might never be realised. Still she was 
too fair to withhold it, and when the ablu- 



246 THE miller's daughter. 

tions were completed, and the white cheeks 
dried from both salt and fresh water, she 
told her. that her brother had sent her a 
farewell which was still not to be a fare- 
well. 

Jerusha was on her knees, packing, and 
Janey went to her with a "What — what 
did he say?" 

When rosy, bright Jerusha glanced up 
from her task she met a look that almost 
alarmed her, it was so unnaturally vivid and 
anxious. ' Moreover, the taper fingers were 
clasped, and the pale lips ajar. 

" He said he was going to Muchsandy as 
soon as he was able to move, and that he 
should hope to call and see your mother, 
and you, dear, also, of course, and the 
children," said Jerusha ; but, perceiving the 
agitation caused by each word, she feared 
to give the remainder of the message, and 
paused. 



THE miller's daughter. 247 

" What more, Rushy darling, what more ?" 
asked breathless Janey. 

" He thanks you for having been so kind 
to him when he was ill, and is sorry you 
are going to leave. He was so much en- 
gaged with Captain Dangerfield when you 
left us that he could not say good-bye as he 
wished, and hopes to say it, and how d'ye 
do at the same time, when he is well 
enough to pay you a visit." 

" Oh, Eushy !" exclaimed Janey, unclasp- 
ing the fingers to shade her face with them, 
and turning aside to conceal the shame- 
facedness the words had caused ; and in 
another moment her arms were round 
Jerusha's neck, and she was whispering, 
" How kind of you to come, dear ! How 
kind of him ! How very, very kind." 



248 



CHAPTER XV. 



'' MY LUVE IS LIKE THE RED, RED ROSE. 



99 



ONE morning in the following September 
Frank Firman was abroad in the twi- 
light that precedes the dawn. He and his 
men had been very busy at Muchsandy and 
elsewhere since the encounter with Captain 
Dangerfield. They had been exposed by 
night and day, and had been engaged in 
some serious affrays with smugglers, confis- 
cating both goods and liquors, receiving 
bounty-money in return, and making dis- 
coveries as regarded the fishermen and 
country people who abetted these natural 
opponents of the coastguard. On this par- 



THE miller's daughter. 249 

ticular morning Firman was alone above 
Hollow Cove. He was armed, and knew 
that one of the revenue vessels was anchored 
at no great distance behind some interven- 
ing rocks. This same vessel, the Invincible, 
had lately run down and captured a smug- 
gling ship and several boats engaged in the 
traffic, and was on the look-out for more. 
Two or three fishing-boats were moored in 
the cove, aud a drift-net was lying in one of 
them, prepared for mackerel fishing. It 
was a misty morning, and Firman had some 
difficulty in distinguishing surrounding 
objects, so he seated himself on the cliff to 
await the sunrise. He was thus enabled to 
glance over the rocks that contained the 
cave. In due time a gleam or so of sun- 
light made its way through the mists, and 
he perceived that several fishermen were 
below in the cove. He could not distinguish 
clearly what they were about, but he saw 



250 THE miller's daughter. 

that they appeared and disappeared mysteri- 
ously up and down the rocks, and seemed 
to be stowing away something more than 
fishing-tackle in their boats. As Seagull's 
Nest was the usual spot for launching the 
boats belonging to its fishermen, this look- 
ed suspicious, and Firman resolved on an 
examination of the cove at low tide. Mean- 
while he watched to see if the Invincible 
should make her appearance, but the boats 
put off in safety. 

As it was impossible for Firman to reach 
the cove at high tide, he walked off towards 
Seagull's Nest. To his surprise he found 
Chivers's boat and two others there. He 
had marked these ever since the night of 
the accident, and had naturally supposed 
that they were the craft he had just seen at 
Hollow Cove. Walking up the road that 
led to the cottages, he met Chi vers and 
some other men on their wav to the boats^ 



THE miller's daughter. 251 

They gave him a sulky '^ good morning," in 
return for his salutation, and passed him^ 
The fishermen had a not unnatural dislike 
and suspicion of the preventive men, even 
when they were not smugglers ; but when 
they were they hated them. 

"He be on the scent. We must tell 
Measter Mark and Cap'en Dangerfield," 
growled Chivers, when he was out of hear- 
ing. ** There be but one pleace more if the 
cave be vound out." 

When Firman reached the downs the 
mists were dispersing, and he was able to 
use his telescope from time to time as he 
walked towards Beachton. He saw the 

■ 

boats in different directions, but the Invind' 
ble was still hidden from view. 

"They are scudding along at a fine 
rate, and have not let down their nets, 
anyhow," he said, as he walked briskly on. 

His attention was suddenly withdrawn 



252 THE miller's daughter. I 

I 

from the boats by the sight of a thick crop [ 

of mushrooms. He had not a mind above 

I 

mushrooms, so he found himself wishing ! 

that he were seated at a good breakfast- i 

table, with a dish of these dainties, well \ 

stewed, before him. He was a naturalist as 

well as coastguardsman, so he stooped to 

examine them. He knew that September 

was their favourite month, and that they 

loved the damp warm mists that were slow- | 

I 
ly dispersing before the sun; He also knew 

that many species of fungi accredited poison- 
ous were not so; but these, at any rate, 
were wholesome, and he filled his pockets 
with them as he wandered on, stopping at 
intervals to use his telescope. While stoop- 
ing to gather an especially fine mushroom, 
he perceived a figure at a little distance 
similarly employed. It was a woman, and 
she had a basket- on her arm, into which 
fihe put her harvest as she plucked it. Fir- 



THE miller's daughter. 253^ 

man recognised Jerusha. He had again re- 
course to the deceitful little cough by which 
he had once before gained her attention. 
She glanced up and, in turn, recognised 
him. She came to meet him frankly and 
naturally. Her cheeks were as red as the 
rosy east that faced them, her voice cheer- 
ful as the lark's that rang in the sun-gilded 
mists above. 

" What a glorious morning !" he exclaim- 
ed, as if her bright presence first made 
him conscious of the sunrise. " And what a 
basketful of mushrooms you have gathered !" 

"Father likes them for breakfast, and if 
one doesn't gather them early they are not 
good. Tou know that they come up in a 
night, and are gone directly," she said. 
"You must have been up early, like the 
mushrooms, to be here at this hour." 

" If I had not I should not have met 
you," he replied, gaily. 



254 THE miller's daughter. 



> »f 



" ' The early bird gets the early worm, 
laughed Jerusha. 

"I shall not say with the naughty boy, 
'More fool the worm for getting up so 
early," " returned Firman. 

They both laughed heartily, though they 
knew the joke was stale. Sunrise, and an 
exhilarating Autumn breeze, are the best 
incentives to mirth, and they were young, 
and had spirits as elastic as the turf they 
trod. Jerusha's basket was full, so she 
turned homewards. She knew that he was 
going the same way, and wished to walk 
with him ; so they began the descent of the 
hill side by side. But the)'- paused invol- 
untarily as the sun burst forth in all his 
splendour above Golden Cap. This was 
the highest hill in the neighbourhood, and 
so-called from its robe of golden gorse, 
which it seemed never to take off. While 
this magnificent sight faced them, the re- 






THE milleb's daughter. 255 

maining mists curled off, and disclosed the 
red and purple heather of the hill-side, and 
the ruby and amethyst hues of the eastern 
horizon. 

'* Does it not laugh and sing, as the 
Psalms say?" exclaimed Jerusha, her hand 
extended towards the hills and sea. " How 
glorious are Thy works, almighty God-!" 

Firman looked at her, and the laughing 
face was solemnised, the mischievous eyes 
serious. Then he followed her glance 
across the heaving sea. There they espied a 
boat being rapidly rowed athwart its breast 
by two men, and, at some distance from the 
boat, a vessel in full sail. Firman adjusted 
his telescope, and soon discovered that the 
vessel was the Invincible^ and had no doubt 
that the boat was one of those which he 
had seen launched from Hollow Cove. 
Jerusha inquired the cause of his sudden 
excitement, and he explained. He gave 



256 THE miller's daughter. 

her a field-glass which he had in his pocket, 
and they walked to the edge of the cliffs to 
watch the chase. Firman understood what 
was going on, and told Jerusha that the 
Invincible had hoisted her flag, calling on 
the boat to surrender in the Queen's name ; 
but that the boatmen were casting their 
nets, <is if unaware of this fact. 

" I hope they will escape 1" cried Jerusha, 
fervently. *' I don't believe they are smug- 
glers." 

In his heart Firman hoped so also, for 
the sympathies of the brave somehow go 
with the weak, and he scarcely cared to 
have received premiums himself in the ser- 
vice into which circumstances had placed 
him, for pouncing upon the poor fisherman. 

"They will get off scot-free, I think," he 
said. "They are emptying the boat under 
cover of the net. Over goes one package 
— another — another I French brandy, with- 



THE miller's daughter. 257 

out doubt. How did the rascals get it? 
And they will know where to find it agaia 
by their sinkers, if we don't circumvent 
them." 

"As if the sea were not rich enough 
already," said Jerusha. '* The treasures of 
the deep need no additions. What will the 
fishermen do now ?" 

" Wait for the ship, and be searched, and 
let off. It must be one of the boats from 
Hollow Cove. The others have got clean 
away, and probably landed their cargo." 

*'From Hollow Cove? There are no 
smugglers there. They are all labourers or 
fishermen, and some of them work for us 
and Cousin Martha," said Jerusha, half 
offended, standing up for her friends. 

** Is there a cave in that neighbourhood ?'* 
asked Firman, his glass still levelled at the 
boat. 

** Not that I know of; but, yes; I think 

VOL. I. s 



r 



S58 THE miller's daughter. 

there used to be one not far from Sandport, 
but nobody knows whereabouts it lies," re- 
plied Jerusha. 

*' Those adventurous spirits have found it 
out," returned Firman, watching until his 
prognostics had come to pass, and the boat 
lay alongside the ship. 

But she was not taken. A few minutes 
sufficed to show, apparently, that she carried 
no smuggled goods ; for she was quietly 
rowed off by her men, while the Invincible 
remained, defeated, if not convinced, in mid- 
ocean. 

"Tm so glad! I knew there were no 
smugglers about usT' said Jerusha, triumph- 
antly, as she and Firman resumed their path 
towards the mill, each thinking of the boat. 
*' I should not like your profession, though 
I love the sea. But you can have had no 
breakfast, and this air makes us so hungry ?" 
she adde^, as they neared her home. " You 



THE miller's daughteb. 259 

must breakfast with us. Father will be de- 
lighted. If you will go round to the front 
while I hide my basket I will let you in. 
Father is very fond of stewed mushrooms 
for breakfast, and I want to surprise him. 
I know he will give you half." 

Before Firman could answer she was trip- 
ping across the mill-dam. He stood to 
watch her. She turned, and, with a sort of 
unstudied coquetry, waved her hand to- 
wards the front of the house, and he went 
thitherward obediently, still watching her, 
and understanding that she had made this 
cunning detour to avoid meeting her father, 
who was already abroad. 

"Then I shall get my mushrooms after 
all. I do nothing but eat when I come 
here. This will be my fourth meal, and I 
can never invite them in return. How 
fresh and sweet and natural she is ! Like 
the red, red rose." 

s2 



260 THE miller's daughter. 

Thus mused Firman, oblivious of the 
Invincible^ as he stood in the stone porch 
awaiting Jerusha; and we all know, or 
guess, the state of a man's mind when he so 
far forgets the prosaic side of life as to turn 
to the poetical for comparisons. 

Rushy opened the door with her finger 
on her lip, and ushered him silently into the 
hall. Then she whispered, 

"Sit down in that comer and surprise 
him. There is nothing father likes so much 
as a surprise, and some one to breakfast 
with him that he really cares about." 

"Really cares about!" repeated Firman 
to himself, as she disappeared to stew her 
mushrooms. 

He sat down in the chair indicated — one 
of those old-fashioned beehive chairs — and, 
as was natural, thought of her. His thoughts 
were not always so pleasant, for his life was 
hard, and not what he would have chosen 



THE miller's daughter. 261 

had he picked out a path for himself. The 
road appointed for us rarely does appear ex- 
actly the one we should have selected had 
we followed our fancy; still, if we pursue 
it honestly and steadily, it will prove the 
right one at the last. But this thought of 
Rushy apparently smoothed his for the 
moment ; for, meditating on her bright face 
and charming manners, he fell asleep. Those 
who serve their country as Government 
watchers — be they of coastguard, police, or 
fire brigade — make great sacrifices, none 
greater than the loss of regular rest. Fir- 
man's had been much broken of late, and he 
was prepared to seize it irregularly, even 
without a minute's notice. 

"How tired he must be I And no 
wonder I I wish he were anything but a 
coastguardsman ?" thought Jerusha, when 
she returned and saw that he was asleep. 
**Iwill take care not to awaken him. I 



262 THE milleb's daughter. 

wonder if he has anyone in the world to 
care for him. He doesn't mind Thomas 
Fudgit as Mark did when he was ill." 

Her hands were noiseless as a cat's velvet 
paws as she spread the clean table-cloth and 
laid the breakfast, and Tilly was kept mys- 

« 

teriously in the background while she did 
the work. 

When the miller came in he was much 
surprised and delighted, as Jerusha had ex- 
pected, at the sight of his guest and the 
odour of his mushrooms, and he uncere- 
moniously aroused Firman, who started up 
with many apologies. The trio were soon 
seated at the cheerful table. 

" I am as glad to see you as if you were 
my own son," said Mr. Gay. "Mark has 
gone for a change to stay with Solomon 
Hasluck, and we are lost without him. Ho 
is nearly well, I am thankful to say.'* 

Firman thought, on the contrary, that 






iREl IdlLLEB'S DAUGHTER. 263 

Mark's absence was a gain. He misdoubted 
him, although he knew nothing of his habits, 
and did not even suspect him of illegal 
practices. 

Jerusha recounted to her father what she 
and Firman had just seen, and the miller 
said he wished smuggling could be entirely 
put down, since it was contrary to the laws 
of God and man, and enlisted sympathy on 
the wrong side. 

During the meal Firman inquired if there 
were any comfortable lodgings at Woolley- 
sheepfold, adding that his mother was de- 
sirous of being with or near him. Father 
and daughter were immediately interested, 
and offered to make inquiries. 

"My mother is not rich," said Firman. 
" Indeed, we are poor, and could not afford 
anything expensive. But we are not 
ashamed of poverty." 

"Right I right I Suppose you bring her 



264 THE MHiLER'S DAUGHTER. 

here first, and let her choose for herself," 
said hearty Mr. Gay. " What do you say, 
Rushy? She might have the parlour and 
the best bed-room for a few weeks. I 
mean as a visitor, of course ; but we needn't 
interfere with her. She would then be 
able to look about her.'* 

" I should be very glad, father, but per- 
haps Mrs. Firman might not like it," replied 
Jerusha, with a ready perception of the 
doubtful nature of the proposal. 

" Thank you with all my heart," said the 
lieutenant, looking from one to the other as 
he rose to go. " I will write to my mother 
and tell her what kind and hospitable 
friends I have made. We have never met 
with such before, and we have been 
knocked about a great deal. But I hear, 
on all sides, that there are not many Mr. 
Gays, and I believe it." 



265 



CHAPTER XVI. 

IS JERUSHA JEALOUS? 

TERUSHA pondered rauch over her fa- 
^ ther's invitation to Mrs. Firman. Her 
mind was continually running on the possi- 
bility of its acceptance, and on how she 
would receive that lady if she came. She did 
not like strangers, but her imagination, which 
was fertile, readily made a friend of the 
mother of one so charming as the lieu- 
tenant. She began to fancy that any person 
belonging to him must be agreeable, and 
hoped that she might have an opportunity 
of showing her appreciation of him through 
his parent. Some weeks elapsed, however, 



266 THE miller's daughter. 

and she heard nothing of either. Her fa- 
ther had evidently forgotten the invitation 
altogether, and she was trying to forget 
both it and Firman, when her eflforts were 
rendered temporarily successful by an un- 
expected announcement. 

A letter arrived from Mark, with the 
astonishing news that he was going to be 
married to Janey. The sudden shock was 
great both to Jerusha and her father, and 
neither could tell at first whether it was 
pleasurable or painful ; but the miller soon 
showed that he found it electrically bene- 
ficial, for he rubbed his hands lustily, and 
exclaimed, 

" Now he will be steady, Rushy ! Now he 
will stop at home, and give up seafaring ! 
Now I shall die in peace !" 

"Ah, father, but are they suited, and 
where can they live?" was Jerusha's 
cooler reception of the intelligence, as she 



-H 



THE miller's daughter. 26T 

thought of what such a match must entaiU 
*' Let us read the letter," said the miller, 
putting on his spectacles, and spreading two 
sheets of well-filled paper on the table 
before him. 

Mark had never before written so long a 
letter, and it caused much speculation in 
Jerusha's mind, quite enough to supersede 
that concerning the lieutenant and his mo- 
ther. Mr. Gay read it aloud, slowly and 
without comment, and she perceived that 
he was obliged to take oflF his glasses more 
than once to clear them of the moisture 
gathered by his tears. It was like its writer, 
full of good intentions, and contained the 
assurance that the intended marriage was as 
much to please his father as himself, and as 
Mr. Gay knew that he had proposed it, that 
could not be gainsaid. Then Mark expati* 
ated on Janey's amiability and prettiness, 
which was equally true, and on the fact 



268 THE miller's daughter. 

that her mother, who was quite a lady, gave 
her consent readily. He had no doubt but 
that Miss Martha would come down hand- 
somely now that he had proved his love, 
which she had seemed to doubt, and that 
he was convinced Janey would be an excel- 
lent daughter-in-law. He wished the mar- 
riage to take place at once, as he was de- 
sirous of getting through the whole thing 
while he was still held by the leg, thereby 
implying that he was not sure of what his 
inclinations might be when he was restored 
to his usual activity. It was, indeed, the 
accident which had done the business. He 
made no suggestion as to where or how he 
was to live, taking it for granted, apparent- 
ly, that his father would settle those mat- 
ters, and that house, food, and such sub- 
lunary substances, would be prepared by 
magic. Still it was a more thoughtful letter 
than harum-scarum Mark had ever before 



.-■J 



THE miller's daughter. 269 

written, and clear-sighted Jerusha perceived 
that he was at least in earnest. She had 
previously wondered whether love for Janey 
had been at the bottom of his visit to Solo- 
mon Hasluck, since she knew that he was 
not attached to his host, and now she was 
convinced of it. So far, so good, she 
thought ; and he had made the best of his 
time. But what of the future ? 

" It is quite impossible they can marry at 
once," she said, looking rather ruefully at 
her father's joyful face. 

" Why not ?" he asked, sharply for him. 

" Where are thev to live, father ?" 

" Here, of course, till we can furbish up 
some place for them. The dairy-house 
might be made into a comfortable dwelling, 
or, maybe, Cousin Martha would do up the 
old farm." 

" That would take a year at least. Had 
they not better wait till it is ready ?" 



270 THE miller's daughter. 

"Waiting is wanting. Long courtship, 
short marriage, or no marriage at all. I 
married your blessed mother a month or so 
after we got engaged." 

•* But you were settled and well-to-do, 
father." 

" So is Mark, or he will be. Art jealous, 
lass, because thee art not going to be mar- 
ried thyself?" 

" Not exactly, father, but I think 1 must 
now accept Cousin Solomon. We shall be 
too full here. There will be Mrs. Joe and 
the children coming and going for ever, and 
you have invited Lieutenant Firman's mo- 
ther." 

** Thy * fancy man,' Rushy ? But she 
won't come ; and if she does it will only be 
for a week or so." 

The miller pinched Rushy 's cheek, and 
then rubbed up his ear. But she was quite 
in earnest. She looked bej^ond the present, 



THE MILLEE*S DAUGHTER. 271 

and figured to herself pale, delicate, helpless 
Janey dawdling about the mill as she had 
dawdled about the villa, and Mark again 
tired of home-lifa She tried to banish 
selfishness from her soul, a vice she hated. 
Still these and similar thoughts rushed in 
like torrents, and it seemed to her that the 
peace she loved would be destroyed for 
ever if her father's plans were carried out. 
And he was prepared to improvise more. 
He even proposed to give up one or two of 
the mill store-rooms, or to build an ad- 
ditional small wing to the house — to do any- 
thing, in short, to expedite and facilitate 
Mark's marriage. But still Jerusha said 
they must wait. 

They were startled from their discussion 
by a tap at the window. It was Miss 
Martha. She came in with a letter in her 
hand, and the words, 

" I suppose you've heard the news too I 



272 THs milleb's daughteb. 

I see you have. Idiots! Running, boris- 
noris into the ditch, without a thought of 
the morrow, Mrs. Joe the greatest fool of 
the three. But she's more rogue than fool. 
You'll forbid the banns, Cousin Martin." 

" Why ? You see he did want her, Miss 
Martha," replied the miller, sarcastically. 

" Want her, indeed ! And what will he 
do with her when he gets her ? A footy, 
taffety lass, like a gookoo flower. And 
Mary Ann writes just as if I was to be as 
much pleased as she, and invites me to the 
wedding, as much as to say ' Get your pre- 
sent of silver spoons ready.' They'll neither 
get me nor my present, I can tell 'em." 

'* I don't see why you should be so put 
about, Miss Martha," said the miller, stiffly ; 
" I daresay they can do without your pre- 
sent. And for silver spoons, I have ample 
for both my children." 

" I'm aware of that, and Mark and Janey 



THE miller's daughter. 273 

will soon make ducks and drakes of 'em 
when you're gone. But it's no business of 
mine. If you like the match, that's your 
affair. Rushy don't look as if she liked it." 

" Well, Miss Martha," said Jerusha, with 
spirit, rebelling at that lady's authoritative 
tone, as she always did, "if they are in love 
with one another, I suppose it is right they 
should marry. Only I think they might 
wait a little, for convenience sake. You re- 
member that you told me a girl should be 
bound by Act of Parliament to marry the 
first man that asked her. This is Janey's 
first offer. What have you to say to 
that ?" 

"That if Janey marries Mark you must 
marry Solomon," replied Miss Martha, knock- 
ing the table. 

"And what of Captain Bowles, Miss 
Martha?" asked Jerusha, the wicked twinkle 
returning to her eye. 

VOL. I. T 



274 THE miller's daughter. 



" He is mortally offended with me, and 
has given me up, just because I didn't ask 
him in that night when I saw Mark and 
Janey fiddle-faddling, and told her she 
must go home." 

Miss Martha subsided by degrees after 
this turn was given to her indignation, and 
consented .to discuss the projected marriage. 
But she did not change her mind concern- 
ing it. She was of opinion that Janey's 
mother had hurried it on, not believing in 
Mark's disinterestedness. She knew him 
well, and, like Jerusha, foreboded evil from 
so hasty a match. 

However, Mark had compromised him- 
self, and Janey was only too willing to abet 
him, while the mother was evidently well 
pleased at her making what she considered 
a wealthv match. Mark was as well- 
educated as Janey, and there were, in her 



THE miller's daughter. 275 

opinion, no further obstacles. This she had 
said in her letter. 

" I will go down and talk it over with 
Mrs. Joe," said the miller. " I can bring 
Mark back, and then, Rushy, you and he 
can discuss the house, and the rest of 
it." 

Jerusha knew what that meant, and that 
Mark would have it all his own way. 
However, there was nothing else to be 
done, and the three disputants remained at 
the end of their conversation much of the 
same opinion as they were at the beginning. 

Just as Miss Martha was about to leave, 
another complication arose in a visit from 
Frank Firman. Mr. Gay and Miss Martha 
both glanced instinctively at Rushy, whose 
colour heightened. Firman apologised for 
again intruding, but said he had called to 
inquire concerning some lodgings in WooUey- 

T 2 



f 



276 THE miller's daughter. 

sheepfold, which he had seen, and which 
he fancied might suit his mother. There 
was nothing fitting for her at Muchsandy, 
the village being poor and wild ; neither 
could she reside with comfort in his desolate 
abode ; but Woolleysheepfold was a pretty, 
picturesque, sheltered place, wherehe thought 
she might be happy. He looked at Jerusha 
as he spoke. 

Miss Martha replied for her. "I don't 
think the apartments you have seen could 
suit any lady," she said, " as the woman of 
the house knows as much about cooking 
and waiting as the present company of suit- 
able marriages." Firman looked inquiringly 
from one to the other. 

^' My son is thinking of getting married, 
and Miss Martha disapproves," Mr. Gay 
explained. " When does your mother want 
lodgings ? I know an old lady who might 
be glad to have some one to share her 



THE miller's daughteb. 277 

house, and whose terms would be reason- 
able." 

" My mother writes to say she is coming 
soon," replied perplexed Firman. "She 
fancies I have only to seek and find. She 
has been accustomed to move from place 
to place, and has found no difficulty hitherto ; 
but these country neighbourhoods are differ- 
ent from what she has been used to." 

" I said we should be very glad to see 
her here till she can suit herself," said the 
kindly miller. '* It does one's heart good 
to see a young man so anxious about his 
mother. They are too apt to be ashamed 
of filial duty, or to shirk it anyhow." 

** If Mark marries on Friday, and brings 
his bride home on Saturday, I don't see how 
you can accommodate anyone else," remark- 
ed matter-of<*fact Miss Martha. "There 
won't be a corner for a mouse. If you'll 
leave it to me I'll find a suitable place for 



278 THE millbb's daughter. 

your mother," she continued, addressing Fir- 
man ; " I know every man, woman, and child, 
dog and cat in WooUeysheepfold, and not 
one of 'em would dare to impose on me* 
Come with me, and FU drive you there 
at once, and take you to a house or two where 
a respectable lodger would be a help, and 
where your mother might count upon 
decent cooking and attendance. I daresay 
at her time of life she agrees with me in 
thinking a well-cooked meal the cream of 
the day. Good cooking, or bread-and* 
cheese for me." 

** My last well-cooked meal consisted of 
stewed mushrooms," said Firman, laughing, 
" so I have had no cream in my days for a 
fortnight at least." 

Jerusha lived before there were " schools 
of cookery," and perhaps felt the compli- 
ment all the more because her knowledge 
of the art was either intuitive, or acquired 



THE millbe's daughtee. 279 

from her mother's cookery-book. But her 
tell-tale face showed displeasure, and Firman 
feared he had annoyed her by alluding to 
culinary matters in company. Her annoy- 
ance, however, proceeded from a different 
source. She did not see what right Miss 
Martha had to carry off their guest, and 
take upon herself an office her father had 
volunteered to fill. She did not acknow- 
ledge to herself that she had been improvising 
many ways of entertaining Firman's mother, 
and probably him also, occasionally, but she 
did dislike being interfered with. It must 
be confessed that Miss Martha had a natural 
love of management, and did marshal off 
Firman, with much delight at the prospect 
of helping some neighbour poorer than her- 
self to a lodger. Firman was in a strait, and 
turned, half apologetically, half gratefully, 
from the miller to Miss Martha; but the 
former settled the matter by assuring him 



280 THE miller's daughteb. 

that the ladies were always the best hands 
in such cases, and he left all to them. 

Jerusha was soon alone, and able to 
meditate on the events of the day. Her 
temporary chagrin vanished shortly in 
graver thoughts of what appeared likely 
to befall her. She could not look hopefully 
on Mark's marriage, and, above all, she 
could not rejoice in the prospect of having 
her happy peaceful reign disturbed. She 
even shed tears as she thought of another 
sharing it and her dear father's love. But 
she dashed them away impetuously with 
the words, 

"Was father right? Am I jealous of 
poor Janey ? Am I even envious of Miss 
Martha ? May the dear Lord preserve me 
from such folly, and give me a better 
heart !" 

Before the day was over, she wrote a 
long letter to Mark, containing much good 



THE millee's daughteb. 281 

advice, which, nevertheless, she knew would 
be disregarded. Still she discharged what 
she believed to be her duty, by entreating 
him not to be hasty in a matter which in- 
volved the comfort and happiness, not only 
of himself but others. She asked him to 
wait awhile before he married, until he 
could provide a suitable home for Janey, 
and to consult Miss Martha, who might 
help them if they sought to interest her. 
She mingled many good wishes with her 
counsel, but found it very difficult to add 
congratulations. 

*' But what does it matter ?" she thought. 
" I may as well hold my pen. Mark will 
do what he pleases, and Janey what pleases 
him, and they have father to back them. 
Still, as I have written my letter it may as 
well go, and if they marry, we must all 
make the best of it." 

And so the letter went. 



282 



CHAPTER XVII. 

THE EVE OF THE WEDDING. 

JERUSHA was right in her judgment: 
Mark had his way, and his marriage 
was settled according to his wishes. He 
easily prevailed on Janey and her mother 
to have the wedding in October, so what 
with one arrangement and another, there 
was scarcely breathing time, and certainly 
none for reflection. Jerusha managed with 
some difl&culty to be with Janey on the 
eve of the day, at her earnest entreaty. 
She knew little of her mother, and had 
never been at their abode before. It was 
called Kimberlin Cottage, and she found it 



THE MILLEE's DAUaHTEE. 283 

much what she expected from Janey's 
manners and capabilities, for she was a 
shrewd reader of character, and an ob- 
server. There was the same air of languid 
gentility about Mrs. Joe Hasluck and her 
house as there was about Janey, only they 
were not so pretty. The piano to which 
Miss Martha had taken exception, was a 
distinguishing mark of this gentility ; for 
that instrument was not as universally cum- 
bersome then as now. Mrs. Hasluck was 
much such a musician as her daughter, and 
they played easy duets together on company 
occasions, and were accounted accomplished 
by their neighbours. 

Their two small sitting-rooms were 
adorned by a variety of third-class orna- 
ments, while the furniture was shabby and, 
to Jerusha's sorrow, much streaked with 
dust. That careful house-wife liked to see 
all the dust removed, and she augured ill 



:284 THE miller's daughter. 

for the neatness of Mark's homestead when 
he had one of his own. 

Mrs. Hasluck had been, unfortunately for 
herself and others, an heiress in a small 
way. She was the daughter of a former 
medical man of Muchsandy, and had fallen 
to the lot of good-looking Joe Hasluck after 
her father's death. Her husband had spent 
all of her fortune that was in her own power, 
and she and her children existed somehow, 
to the astonishment of their friends, on 
the remainder. How she had managed to 
send Janey to school was a wonder to every- 
one, and how she intended to bring up 
her other wild, riotous offspring was equally 
incomprehensible to the general capacity. 

Kimberlin Cottage had formerly belonged 
to the Dangerfields, but was now in the pos- 
session of Solomon Hasluck, who had con- 
trived to buy up most of the land sold at 
intervals by that reckless family. Janey and 



THE miller's daughter. 285 

Solomon were first cousins, their respective 
fathers having been half-brothers ; Solomon 
and his uncle Joe were, nevertheless, much 
of an age, and had been playfellows, while 
Mrs. Joe was the youngest of the three. She 
did not find her affectionate nephew a liberal 
landlord, for he was in the habit of pointing 
out to her the duty of " owing no man any- 
thing," when she was behindhand with her 
rent, suppressing the remainder of the text, 
" but to love one another," feeling that no 
love was lost between them. The cottage 
was neither picturesque nor romantic in 
itself, but it was wildly situated. It stood 
on an eminence that overlooked Dangerfield 
Grange and the village of Muchsandy, 
beyond which were the sand wastes and the 
sea. From its windows Mark had been 
able to watch the distant vessels, and was 
thankful to know that the Sea Serpent had 
not appeared amongst them. Indeed, the 



286 THE miller's daitghtee. 

vigilance of the coastguard by sea and land 
had rendered the landing of smuggled 
goods difficult of late. Firman was becom- 
ing noted for resolution in the discharge of 
his duty, and was also gaining a reputation 
for penetration in distinguishing the actual, 
daring, professional smuggler from the 
country-folk who were led by their imagin- 
ary grievances into selling smuggled goods. 

Jerusha was such a stay-at-home that she 
had seldom visited Muchsandy, and had 
never seen its new coastguard station. She 
looked with interest at the small portion of 
it visible from Kimberlin Cottage, and 
wondered which tenement Firman inhab- 
ited, though it was too far off to distinguish 
clearly one portion of it from another. 

But she had not much time for wonder 
during the few hqurs she passed at the cot- 
tage before the wedding. Her father drove 
her thither, and it was afternoon when 



THE millee's daughter. 287 

they arrived, for the roads between Beach- 
ton and Muchsandy were hilly, and so bad 
at intervals that the wheels of the gig stuck 
in the mud more than once. She had found 
Janey anxiously expecting her, and looking 
very glad, but very shy. She and her 
mother were in a sort of hopeless chaos of 
preparation, and Jerusha was not long be- 
fore she found her aid not only necessary, 
but expected. She gave it willingly, and 
the chaos soon became order under her 
accustomed touch. Not that there was much 
to do at the cottage, since Mr. Solomon 
Hasluck, to the universal surprise, had in- 
sisted on giving the wedding feast at his 
bouse. Still the family party were to sup 
there that evening, the supper was not 
ready, and the children's wedding suits were 
not yet perfected. 

Jerusha had been in a whirl ever since 
the arrival of Mark^s letter announcing his 



288 THE miller's daughteb. 

engagement ; she was so still. Ber natural 
spirits seemed to have deserted her, and 
she lived in a sort of dream. It was, never- 
theless, an active dream, for she helped 
Mrs. Hasluck — who was Janey over again 
— to prepare the supper below-stairs, and a 
young dressmaker to rig out the expectant 
children above. 

Eight o'clock brought Mr. Gay, Mr. Solo- 
mon Hasluck, and Mark to supper. Jeru« 
sha's heart was with her brother, and she 
was glad to see that he looked really happy 
as he sat beside his drooping lily of a bride- 
elect. Of course, Solomon fell to her share, 
and her father to the widow, so they were 
all ^'paired; if not matched." The miller 
was in great spirits, and assured Mrs. Joe 
over and over again that he already looked 
on Janey as his own child. Indeed, the 
party was cheerful enough, and rendered 
almost uproarious by the presence of the 



THE miller's daughter. 289 

five other children at a side-table. They 
had, however, a vrholesome dread of Cousin 
Solomon, and vrere checked in their mirth 
from time to time by a disapproving glance 
or word from him. He devoted himself to 
Jerusha, who tried to look favourably upon 
him in return for his promised liberal hos- 
pitality on the morrow. She also did her 
best to be cheerful; but, when once de- 
pressed, she was hard to rouse. It is often 
so with bright, spirited natures. The rose, 
weighted with heavy raindrops, does not 
readily uplift her head. 

" Did you bring no message from Martha ?" 
asked Mrs. Hasluck, when the roast fowls 
and ham were carved, and the children's 
mouths too full to talk. 

" None,*' replied the miller. " She always 
takes time to come round to a thing, and 
she is busy just now ; she has been helping 
Lieutenant Firman to get lodgings for his 

VOL. I. u 



290 THE miller's daughteb. 

mother, and the good lady arrived before 
they were settled, so Cousin Martha, with 
her usual kindness, took her in at the 
Villa." 

" What, that good-looking young man at 
the coastguard station ?" asked Mrs. Has- 
luck, whose personal grievances were always 
dispelled by a piece of news. " What is 
she like? Will she pay, I wonder? I 
suppose she's a lady by birth." 

** She only came the day before yesterday, 
and we haven't seen her. We've been too 
busy," returned the miller, with a knowing 
look at Janey. 

"Cousin Martha isn't worth thinking 
about," cried Mark, hotly, who was more 
annoyed than he chose to confess at her re- 
fusal to countenance the marriage, either by 
present or presence. "Old maids are 
jealous old cats, who don't like marriages 
because they have failed to get spliced them- 



THE miller's daughteb. 291 

selves. Rushy will be ditto, if she don't 
take care. I believe she only took this Mrs. 
Firman in for an excuse." 

" Her son is a good oflScer, anyhow," said 
Solomon, " and he has had a sight of prize* 
money already for seizing smuggled goods 
down the coast, and his men have had their 
share." 

Jerusha awoke from her dream, and 
found her powers of listening revive. But 
Mark's joyous face darkened, for he was 
suspicious of Firman. 

" He thinks himself mighty clever," he 
said, sulkily, "and is as greedy as a 
shark." 

" He was a good friend to thee, my son," 

put in the miller. " If he had not found 

thee on the cliff, matters might have been 

worse than they are, and thee lamed for 

life. Then pretty Janey would have turned 

up her nose at a lame dog." 

u2 



THE miller's daughter. 293 

in one another, and strove to forget self, 
which she found very difficult. 

The little party were startled by a loud 
knock at the door. Mrs. Hasluck's small 
maid-of-all-work answered it, and immedi- 
ately afterwards brought in a letter for 
Mark. He read it, and his countenance 
changed from bright to dark. 

Throwing the letter into the fire he rose 
hastily, and went to speak to the messenger 
who had brought it, and who was, apparent- 
ly, a fisherman. 

"Tell him I will come," he said, and re- 
turned to his friends. 

The joy had gone out of his face, and 
they all wondered what was the matter. 
With the exception of Jerusha, however, 
they accepted his explanation, and all ex- 
pressed regret. 

"An old shipmate has turned up," he 
fiaid, hurriedly. " I can't refuse to go and 



294 THE miller's daughter. 

see him. Don't stop up for me, Solomon, 
as I am sure to be late. It is very pro- 
voking, but it can't be helped." Then he 
bent over Janey, kissed her, and whispered, 
'* Only half an hour less, my love. To- 
morrow at eleven !" 

A slight pink tinged her pale cheek, and 
a happy smile moved her lips as she gently 
returned the pressure of his hand, but did 
not speak. She was timid and modest as 
ever, and did ndt presume on her engage- 
ment. It was no wonder she had won 
fickle Mark's heart. 

After he was gone, the rest separated. 
Jerusha shared Janey's room, so the cus- 
tomary conversation ensued between them 
touching the wedding-dress and the cere- 
mony. Janey had perfect faith in Mark, so 
his absence on the eve of the wedding did 
not trouble her. Not so Jerusha. It was 
with difficulty she could enter into Janey's 



THE miller's daughter. 295 

innocent talk^ and examine the dress and 
presents scattered somewhat untidily about 
the room. Having done so, however, she 
persuaded Janey to go to bed, by assuring 
her that she would want her best looks and 
all her energy on the morrow. Janey 's 
head was scarcely on her pillow before she 
slept, like the happy child she really was. 

Jerusha was too restless to follow her 
example. She was long on her knees, 
praying for those she loved, especially for 
Mark and Janey; then she instinctively 
went to the window, as she was in the 
habit of doing at home. She did not ven- 
ture to unclose it that cold October night 
on Janey's account, but she sat down on the 
window -seat, having first extinguished the 
light. Below her was the sombre Grange, 
with its yews and poplars ; on the left, the 
cliffs upon which the [coastguard station 
stood ; on the right, and far beyond, Much* 



296 THE milleb's daughter. 

sandy and the sea; but all these objects 
were dark, distant, and almost undistinguish- 
able. Still she gazed down upon them, 
lost in thought, while Janey slumbered, lost 
in dreams. 

There are people who make the griefs 
and anxieties of others so entirely their 
own that, while to all appearance person- 
ally untroubled, they suffef indescribably. 
Jerusha was one of them. The dark, 
shadowy outline of rock on her left brought 
Firman to her mind in addition to Mark, 
and with him, his mother, who was already 
reputed poor and proud, though no one but 
Miss Martha had seen her. She wondered 
where, in that gloomy landscape^ Mark and 
Firm an were at that moment, and how the 
one would support a wife, the other, possibly, 
a mother. 

She was thus wondering, when her at- 
tention was riveted on a spot near the 



THE miller's daughter. 297 

Grange. A light suddenly shone and dis- 
appeared, and then another, and another. 
They were like meteors, or a child's fire- 
works, that flashed a moment, and vanished. 
She could not resist opening the window, 
and straining out, as if to examine the 
depths of obscurity below. She fancied she 
heard the report of a pistol as one more 
flash, or meteoric delusion, gleamed. Then 
all was dark and silent as before. She 
waited a few seconds, then re-closed the 
window, feeling thankful that she did not 
live in so dreary and weird a scene. 

But she slept little that night, for thinking 
of those she loved. 



298 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

SOLOMON IN TROUBLE. 

rriHE flash which Jerusha saw from her 
-*- window at Kimberlin Cottage was 
caused by a pistol-shot fired by Captain 
Dangerfield at Lieutenant Firman. 

A darker and wilder scene than even 
Jerusha's vivid imagination called up was 
enacting near the Grange. 

Mark and Dangerfield were standing to- 
gether, concealed and sheltered by the yew 
hedge and poplar grove, while Firman and 
his Preventive men were surrounding what 
appeared to be a waggon-load of coal, and 
a couple of carters in smock frocks. A 



THE miller's daughter. 299 

few minutes before all had been silent as 
night herself; no sounds heard but the 
mysterious moanings of distant ocean, and 
the melancholy whisperings of the winds 
amongst the ghostly poplars. Now, that 
first dastardly shot levelled at a venture, 
was returned by others, equally uncertain. 
They ceased, however, at a word of com- 
mand, and lights were kindled in order to 
discover if anyone had fallen, as well as to 
enable Her Majesty's servants to proceed 
with their duty. Dangerfield and Mark 
withdrew further into their ambuscade, 
which was too impenetrable a labyrinth 
either for bullet or cutlass. 

" I hope I have killed him," whispered 
Dangerfield. "They believe me with my 
ship, and will never suspect me." 

" Coward !" ejaculated Mark, irresistibly, 
" to shoot at a man in the dark, and from 
behind a hedge." 



500 THE miller's daughter. 

"Hold your maundering. They're un- 
loading, by !" whispered Dangerfield, 

seizing Mark by the throat. '* The waggon's 
double S's on its way to Hill Farm, and he 
must pay the penalty." 

" Scoundrel !" was on Mark's lips, but 
Dangerfield's grip fortunately stayed its 
enunciation. 

Mark had only, as yet, been engaged in 
the daring and exciting purchase and barter 
of smuggled goods, the evasion of the Ex- 
cise, and hazards by sea and land, hitherto 
successfully surmounted ; he had never been 
in an encounter where life was in peril, and 
had not realised what it would be. He was 
no coward, yet he trembled for the conse- 
quences. What if they were all taken pri- 
soners, found guilty, imprisoned, banished ? 
What would become of Janey ? — what would 
his father and Jerusha say ? 

"Milk-and-water fool!" muttered Danger 



THE miller's daughter. 301 

field, releasing him, and moving stealthily 
nearer the scene of action under cover of 
the hedge, pistol in hand. 

His first shot at the shadowy figure of 
Firman had missed, thanks to the darkness. 
Should he hazard a second ? Some of the 
men were, so to say, already beating the 
bushes for its perpetrator ; but the captain 
was cunning, and well accustomed to evade 
both law and pursuit. Moreover, he hated 
Firman. 

The lieutenant, meanwhile, was watching 
the unloading of the waggon in the Queen's 
name, although her youthful Majesty was 
not aware of it. As he suspected, when 
the coal was removed by the carters, aided 
by the Preventive men, the waggon was 
found to be full of kegs of spirits. The 
surprise of the smock-frocked countrymen 
was greater than that of the Queen's ser* 
vants, who expected what they found. 



302 THE miller's daughteb. 

" Lawk a massy, who'd a-thought it !" 
exdaimed one. " Kags, as I'm a sinner !" 

" Avore I'd a coom wi' it I'd a- cut my 
lags off I" cried the other. 

" Whose men are you ?" asked Firman. 

'' Measter Hasluck's, zur," was the reply, 

" And the waggon is his ?" 

"Iz zure, zur. Measter do let un out, 
but I'll teak my woth that hem doan't knaw 
no more about thay kags than the onborn 
biabe, no more nor we do, zur, and we 
duno nothin' at all." 

" He will have to speak to that as well 
as you. Where were you going ?" 

" We wor to be met an' tuold hereabouts, 
zur. We thought as the coal wor vor Squire 
Dangervield's bealiff, and as he 'ould be 
here vor to zee to un." 

"You live at Mr. Hasluck's?" 

" Iz zure, zur ; we be hes carters." 

**Then you had better take the horses 



THE miller's daughter. 303 

home. Give me your names first ; we will 
see to the waggon. The contents belong 
to the Queen." 

** An' the coal, zur? An' Winter a- 
coomin', and virin zoo scarce. The Queen, 
God bless her, 'ont be wanten' the coal.'* 

*'I daresay the magistrates will settle 
that; but the horses are tired, and not 
guilty, whoever else is." 

Firman gave two of his men orders to 
accompany the carters, and others to keep 
watch over the waggon ; but these orders 
being given apart, did not reach the watchers 
in the hedge. They had heard the rest of 
the colloquy. They knew that the smuggled 
goods were to have been deposited in the 
Grange, had they not been so unexpectedly 
surprised; and it was to undertake the 
management of this that Dangerfield had 
summoned Mark. One of Dangerfield's 
men was to have met the waggon, and told 



jiia iij I wm^f I ii.J^rw^x^iTW^aFP 



304 THE miller's daughter. 

the carters to leave it at the Grange until 
the morning, themselves returning with the 
horses to Hill Farm. As one of the carters 
had said, Solomon Hasluck was in the 
habit of letting out his waggon and horses 
when his harvest was in, thereby turning, as 
he believed, an honest penny. He thus 
frequently brought coal or lime to the 
Grange, never pausing to ask why that 
ruinous dwelling needed itj and if he 
suspected that his waggon or cart contained 
other than lawful load he did not breathe it, 
even to himself. The acquisition of wealth 
was pleasant to him, and he had no intention 
of making it dishonestly. He resolved to. 
obtain it, just as he was determined to gain 
Jerusha, by his indomitable will. He al- 
most said, with the Quaker, "Get money, 
my son ; honestly if you can, but by all 
means get money." 

While this was passing, Mark's frame of 



THE miller's daughter. 305 

mind was not enviable. Although he was 
not directly implicated in this particular 
seizure, he knew that Solomon would be, 
who suspected him of complicity with 
Dangerfield, and who had lent money on 
their joint security. He still thought of 
Janey, of his marriage, of his father, and 
Eushy. What if his part in Dangerfield's 
crimes should evolve on the very eve of his 
wedding? He turned to Dangerfield in 
desperation, and whispered, '' I will have no 
more to do with it. I wash my hands of 
the whole affair. I break with you hence- 
forth, and turn over a new leaf." 

"You can't," replied the Captain, with 
an oath. ** We must stand or fall together, 
as we have bought and sold, made voyages, 
given pledges, borrowed money, and signed 
our names together. Better come with me 
to the Sea Serpent. I shall be safe in ^her, 
and off to sea in three or four hours." 

VOL. I, X 



306 THE miller's daughter. 

*'I am to be married to-morrow," said 
Mark, in despair. 

" More fool you ! But you're not spliced 
yet ; and we're not found out yet. And I 
don't mean to be. Ah, come along ! There's 
some one inside the garden, and they'll be 
upon us directly." 

Dangerfield's practised ears were consci- 
ous of a footstep. He seized Mark's arm 
and dragged him along beneath the thick 
hedge, until they were in the shrubbery be- 
fore the house. He told Mark to creep 
on all-fours, and they dodged in and out of 
the overgrown laurels and cypresses until 
they succeeded in reaching the door. A 
latch-key soon let them in, but they could 
not tell whether they had been observed or 
not. The night, although dark, was not 
pitch-dark, and it was impossible to know 
what discoveries might have been made by 



THE miller's daughter. 307 

means of lanterns, and keen accustomed 
sight such as Firman's. 

Once within the house they were safe. 
They hurried quickly through the passages, 
offices, and cellars, which Dangerfield,'on a 
previous occasion, had shown Firman, until 
they reached a secret and concealed door, 
that he had not considered it necessary to 
discover to the lieutenant. This was opened 
by a spring, and when once on the other 
side, they feared no pursuit. Here smug- 
glers were anxiously awaiting orders ; and 
their language was as bad as their looks, 
when they were informed that the load 
which they were to have stowed away in 
the secret passages which they then tenanted 
had been snatched from them by the Pre- 
ventive men. Mark stood in a kind of 
wretched dream, listening to Dangerfield's 
plans, and commands to cut through the 

x2 



308 THE MILLEB*S DAUGHTEB. 

Preventive men if necessary, and expecting 
his orders next. 

Meanwhile Firman was considering in 
what way he could most conscientiously yet 
mercifully do his duty. He knew that Mark 
was to be married that very day, and that 
the wedding party was to adjourn to Mr. 
Hasluck's, so he determined that no further 
proceedings should be taken, at least until 
the event was over. Whatever were his 
private opinions concerning the ownership 
of the smuggled spirits, they were found in 
Solomon's waggon, and conveyed by his 
carters, so it was he who must answer for 
them. 

"What trouble this drink entails!'' he 
thought, as he surveyed the captured spirits. 
**Life, reputation, fortune, all risked, for 
what, after all, only 'steals away one's 
brains.' Blame falling on the innocent, 
while the guilty escapes; lies, hypocrisy, 



THE millbb's DAUGHTEB. 309' 

murder even, and for what ? for that which 
converts the ' image of God ' into the taber- 
nacle for demons. But for His grace, per- 
haps, such might this my temple be, and I a 
miserable wreck on life's shore/' 

**Now, my men," he exclaimed aloud,. 
" let us take warning, and avoid this enemy 
of our souls as we would the pit of destruc» 
tion itself." 

" Lo'k zee, zur," said one of the carters^ 
" we doan't drink nothin' but zider, or may- 
be a drop o' elder wine wi' a vew snags in 
it, as our missus do make vor the colic, and 
which do warm oone up when oone's cold/^ 

"Perhaps you may take too much of 
that, even," returned Firman smiling, as he 
watched the shadowy horses and men wend 
their way carefully through the darkness 
towards Hill Farm. 

Solomon Hasluck was awaiting them. 
When he returned home from Kimberlin 



3 10 THE miller's daughter. 

Cottage and found that they and Mark were 
still absent, he resolved to sit up awhile. 
He did so in a comfortable arm-chair in a 
snug dining-room, and was soon dozing, and 
dreaming of Jerusha. He was resolved to 
make sure of her on the morrow, for 
" one wedding makes many," he facetiously 
thought. 

The arrival of his team and men aroused 
him from this agreeable slumber, and he 
went forth to his yard, bent on lecturing his 
labourers for being so late. He was startled 
at sight of the coastguardsmen, and still 
more so when he perceived the absence of 
his waggon. His lecture was cut short by 
the announcement that the vehicle in ques- 
tion had been detained with its illicit load. 
His speech was measured at best^ but now 
he found it fail altogether* He could only 
lift up his eyes and hands in angry pro- 
test. When words did come, however, they 



THE miller's daughter. 311 

were anything but measured, and his temper 
anything but restrained. 

"I, Solomon Hasluck of Hill Farm, a 
smuggler!" he exclaimed. "Til have every 
soul up before the niagistrates who dares to 
say so ! My waggon ! my horses ! my — 

my What do you mean by it, Phil 

Hallet and Jack Little ? Where have you 
been ? What have you been doing ? Neg- 
lecting your business at the ale-house, I 
warrant." 

'* We dun no nothen' about it, measter. 
They loaded 'un while they wur treaten' ov' 
us, and our backs wur turned. It bain't our 
vault." 

"What business had you to be treated? 
Put up the horses, and come with me to 
the Grange. It is all a mistake ! I'll have 
the police — the — the — sheriff's officer — 
the " 

But the coastguardsmen assured him it 



vJ12 THE miller's DAtGHTEB. 

was no mistake. He took them into the 
dining-room to question them, and • they 
gave him an account of the seizure, and of 
the shot fired near Dangerfield Grange. 

He said, what was quite true, that he had 
lent his cart and horses to Captain Dan- 
gerfield s so-called bailiff to bring a waggon- 
load of coal from some vessel down the 
coast, and was to receive paj^ment for the 
loan. He* had often done the same before. 

The coastguardsmen did not confute him, 
but knew, nevertheless, that the waggon 
and consequent penalty were his, and that 
lie would have to appear before a magistrate 
when a summons was taken out against 
him, and account, as best lie might, for his 
contraband load. 

He calmed a little and changed his mind 
as to his visit to the Grange ; told the men 
he could easily clear himself and his carters, 
and that he would call on Lieutenant Fir- 



THE miller's daughter. 313 

man the next day; said there was some 
strange mistake, and that the whole country 
would be up in arms against the coast- 
guards for suspecting a respectable man 
such as he. 

" We only do our duty, sir," they said, 
and having no orders to remain, withdrew. 

Solomon scarcely knew before how wroth 
he could feel. He paced the apartment, 
fuming, fretting, exclaiming at the iniquity 
of Dangerfield or his bailiff, wondering if 
Mark were concerned in the affair, wishing 
the wedding at the Antipodes, and acting 
very differently from his customary precise 
ways. He, a respectable. Well-to-do, pious 
man to be accused of smuggling ! To have 
a waggonJoad of spirits on its way to his 
reputable homestead! It was incredible, 
unheard of! But no one would believe it. 
Yet, uneasy conscience whispered that, if he 
had never been engaged in actual smuggling. 



314 THE miller's daughter. 

he had yet frequently found a keg or so of 
best spirits secreted here and there in or 
near his house, for which he had duly paid, 
avoiding duty. So had most of the farmers, 
tradesmen, gentlemen, magistrates even, it 
was rumoured, and had never been found 
out. Why should he and his men be scape- 
goats for the neighbourhood ? Would 
nobody answer this question ? Mark might 
know. Mark ! Where was Mark ? 

Like Jerusha, Solomon had no sleep that 
night ; but while his guest, Mr. Gay, slum- 
bered peacefully, he wandered about in a 
vain search for that guest's son. 



END OF THE FIRST VOLUME. 



AOMDON : PBINT£D BT DUNCAN MACDONALD, BLENHEIM HOUSE. 



/